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Native Plants/Tendrils of climbing plants

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Question
Hello!
If I were to tell someone that the tendrils of ivies and other climbing plants can grow as much as two feet a day, would I be erring on the fast side, the slow side or just about right? (Amazingly, the usual Googling, Wiki-ing & Ask.com-ing were fruitless!) Thanks in advance for your expertise! -J

Answer
Hi John,

Interesting question.  Kudzu is probably the fastest growing vine.  In summer in the southern US, it grows about 1 foot per day. It now covers about 70 million acres. Giant Kelp can beat that with 1.5 ft per day.  Bamboo tops them all - some species can grow 3 ft per day, and has been clocked at .0002MPH. This is definitely one grass species that you do not want to let grow under your feet. Because of its rapid growth rate, it was used as a method of torture/execution in ancient Asia; it will literally grow through a body staked over it.  Myth Busters did a show on it and proved that this is possible.  Another weird Bamboo fact is that it all blooms at the same time (at least in the genus phyllostachys) no matter where in the world it's growing or what the climate is doing. It promptly dies after blooming, but this only happens every 100 years or so.
Thanks,
Susan  

Native Plants

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Susan Tabor

Expertise

I can answer questions about native North American Plants, with emphasis on the Southern US. I have studied native plants and their uses for over 30 years. I can identify from photos (sometimes just descriptions) trees, mushrooms, weeds, and most vascular flora. I actually use the things I gather, and I have some great recipes for wild foods. I frequently design landscapes using native plants. I discovered a new weed introduction in Iberville Parish, La.

Experience

30 years of study and application.

Education/Credentials
Horticulture - LSU Phytotherapy - D. Hoffman

Awards and Honors
LSU 1997 - new Emelia sp. entered in LSU botanical files.

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