Kudzu is a perennial (lives more than two years) vine that is now found across the southern United States. It has a rapid growth rate and has a tendency to smother whatever it grows on including young saplings, mature trees, utility poles, and houses. It is native to East Asia but was introduced to the southern United States in 1876 in a Japanese garden exhibit at the Centennial International Exhibition (in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania). In the following years, the government encouraged the use of Kudzu for feeding livestock and erosion control. It was designated an invasive plant in 1950, a week in the 1970s and an noxious weed in 1998.
This is how it got its nickname: “the vine that ate the south”
Here is a picture of its distribution. Once you click on the link you will notice that it is on the verge of making its way into Canada. Recently (2009), the first community of Kudzu was discovered in Canada (on the north shore of Lake Erie). Here is a good picture that summarizes Kudzu.