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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Rosids
Cladus: Eurosids I
Ordo: Fabales

Familia: Fabaceae
Subfamilia: Faboideae
Tribus: Phaseoleae
Subtribus: Glycininae
Genus: Pueraria
Species: P. alopecuroides – P. bella – P. bouffordii – P. calycina – P. candollei – P. edulis – P. garhwalensis – P. grandiflora – P. imbricata – P. lacei – P. maesenii – P. mirifica – P. montana – P. neocaledonica – P. pulcherrima – P. sikkimensis – P. tuberosa – P. xyzhui
Source(s) of checklist:

Govaerts, R. et al. 2021. Pueraria in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published online. Accessed: 2021 May 17. Reference page.


Pueraria DC., 1825

Type species: Hedysarum tuberosum Roxb. ex Willd. LT designated by Burkart, Las Leguminosas Argentinas 544 (1943)


Bujacia E.Mey.
Glycine L.
Zeydora Lour. ex Gomes Mach.

Native distribution areas:

Continental: Asia to W. Pacific
Andaman Is., Assam, Bangladesh, Bismarck Archipelago, Caroline Is., China North-Central, China South-Central, China Southeast, East Himalaya, Hainan, India, Inner Mongolia, Japan, Jawa, Korea, Laos, Malaya, Maluku, Manchuria, Myanmar, Nansei-shoto, Nepal, New Caledonia, New Guinea, Northern Territory, Ogasawara-shoto, Pakistan, Philippines, Primorye, Solomon Is., Sulawesi, Taiwan, Thailand, Tibet, Vanuatu, Vietnam, West Himalaya
Introduced into:
Alabama, Angola, Argentina Northeast, Arkansas, Bermuda, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Fiji, Florida, Gabon, Georgia, Ghana, Gilbert Is., Hawaii, Honduras, Illinois, Kansas, Krym, Liberia, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Mozambique, New Jersey, New South Wales, New York, Nigeria, Niue, Norfolk Is., North Carolina, Northern Provinces, Nova Scotia, Oklahoma, Panamá, Pennsylvania, Queensland, Samoa, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Carolina, Sudan, Tadzhikistan, Tennessee, Texas, Tonga, Transcaucasus, Ukraine, Virginia, Wallis-Futuna Is., Yugoslavia, Zaïre

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition
Primary references

De Candolle, A.P., 1825. Ann. Sci. Nat. (Paris) 4: 97

Additional references

Green, M.L. 1929. Prop. Brit. Bot. 176.


Govaerts, R. et al. 2021. Pueraria in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published online. Accessed: 2021 May 17. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2021. Pueraria. Published online. Accessed: May 17 2021. 2021. Pueraria. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published online. Accessed: 17 May 2021.
Hassler, M. 2021. Pueraria. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2021. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published online. Accessed: 2021 May 17. Reference page.
Hassler, M. 2021. World Plants. Synonymic Checklist and Distribution of the World Flora. . Pueraria. Accessed: 17 May 2021.
Pueraria DC. – Taxon details on Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS).
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Pueraria DC. in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: 2013-11-17.
Pueraria – Taxon details on National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).
EOL: Pueraria

Vernacular names
suomi: Kudzut
magyar: Fojtóbabok
日本語: クズ属
ქართული: პუერარია
polski: Opornik
svenska: Kudzubönssläktet

Pueraria is a genus of 15–20[1] species of legumes native to Asia. The best known member is kudzu, also called Japanese arrowroot.[2][3] The genus is named after 19th century Swiss botanist Marc Nicolas Puerari.

The genus, as traditionally circumscribed, is polyphyletic, with different species being more related to other species in the tribe Phaseoleae.[4] Current research, reproduced below, splits the genus into five clades, one of which defines the current monophyletic genus.[5]


The genus Pueraria is highly polyphyletic; the below list is divided by clade following the result of A.N.Egan & B.Pan (2016).[5] In 2015, the authors validly published their proposal in Phytotaxa.[6] As of February 2022, Kew Plants of the World Online database accepts these names.[7]
Pueraria sensu stricto

Pueraria sensu stricto includes the vast majority of species in the genus. They fall into a single clade sister to or containing Nogra.[5]

P. alopecuroides Craib
P. calycina Franch.
P. candollei Benth.
P. edulis Pamp.[8]
P. imbricata Maesen
P. lacei Craib
P. mirifica Airy Shaw & Suvat. (= P. candollei var. mirifica in Egan)
P. montana (Lour.) Merr.[8][9] – US invasive population comes from a hybrid of more than one of the subspecies.[10]
Pueraria montana var. chinensis (Ohwi) Sanjappa & Pradeep (= P. chinensis, although ILDS and the plant list instead consider P. thomsonii the synonym)
Pueraria montana var. lobata (Willd.) Sanjappa & Pradeep (= P. lobata)
Pueraria montana var. thomsonii (Benth.) Wiersema ex D.B. Ward (= P. thomsonii, missing in ILDS)
P. pulcherrima (Koord.) Koord.-Schum.
P. sikkimensis Prain
P. tuberosa (Roxb.ex Willd.) DC. – type species[1]

Provisionally retained

The following are not included in the 2016 study due to insufficient material for sequencing. They are accepted by POWO.[5]

P. bella Prain: conflicting proposals assigning either to the main clade or to Neonotonia (morphology).
P. bouffordii H. Ohashi: presumably in the main clade (morphology).
P. grandiflora Bo Pan & Bing Liu: presumably in the main clade (morphology).
P. xyzhuii H. Ohashi & Iokawa: presumably in the main clade (morphology).

The following are not included in Egan et al. 2016 for other reasons, but are accepted by Kew POWO:

P. garhwalensis L.R.Dangwal & D.S.Rawat: excluded per van der Maesen (2002)
P. neocaledonica Harms: not mentioned
P. maesenii Niyomdham: not mentioned

Former members

The rest of the genus fall into four clades, sorted by distance from the main clade:[5]

Neustanthus Benth. – sister to Sinodolichos
P. phaseoloides (Roxb.) Benth.[8][11] → N. phaseoloides (Roxb.) Benth.

P. edulis, P. montana, and N. phaseoloides make up what is known as kudzu. The morphological differences between these species are subtle.[12]
N. phaseoloides var. javanicus (= P. javanica (Benth.) Benth.)
N. phaseoloides var. phaseoloides
N. phaseoloides var. subspicatus
P. stricta Kurz → T. stricta
Toxicopueraria A.N.Egan & B.Pan – sister to Cologania
P. peduncularis Grah.[8] → T. peduncularis
P. yunnanensis Franchet.→ T. yunnanensis
Haymondia A.N.Egan & B.Pan – notably lies out of Glycininae near Kennediinae; known for a long time to be misplaced
P. wallichii DC. → H. wallichii

The following names are not accepted even before Egan 2016 but have seen valid publication:

P. omeiensis Wang et Tang – P. montana:[13] unaccepted name after Mount Omei.[8]
P. stracheyi Baker → Apios carnea (Wall.) Benth. ex Baker.
P. maclurei (F. P. Metcalf) F. J. Herm. → Sinodolichos lagopus – still accepted by WFO


"Pueraria DC". Flora of Pakistan.
"Plants Profile for Pueraria montana (kudzu)". USDA. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
"Pueraria montana var. lobata". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 16 March 2019.
Lee, J; Hymowitz, T. (2001). "A Molecular Phylogenetic Study of the Subtribe Glycininae (Leguminosae) Derived from the Chloroplast DNA RPS16 Intron Sequences". American Journal of Botany. Botanical Society of America. 88 (11): 2064–2073. doi:10.2307/3558432. JSTOR 3558432. PMID 21669638.
Egan, Ashley N.; Vatanparast, Mohammad; Cagle, William (November 2016). "Parsing polyphyletic Pueraria: Delimiting distinct evolutionary lineages through phylogeny". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 104: 44–59. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2016.08.001. PMID 27495827. Earlier version, 2013 MSc thesis.
Egan, Ashley N.; Pan, Bo (3 July 2015). "Resolution of polyphyly in Pueraria (Leguminosae, Papilionoideae): The creation of two new genera, Haymondia and Toxicopueraria, the resurrection of Neustanthus, and a new combination in Teyleria". Phytotaxa. 218 (3): 201. doi:10.11646/phytotaxa.218.3.1.
"Pueraria DC. | Plants of the World Online | Kew Science". Plants of the World Online.
"Pueraria". Chinese Plant Names.
"Search results: pueraria montana chinensis". The Plant List.
Sun, J. H.; Li, Z.-C.; Jewett, D. K.; Britton, K. O.; Ye, W. H.; Ge, X.-J. (2005). "Genetic Diversity of Pueraria lobata (Kudzu) and Closely Related Taxa as Revealed by Inter-Simple Sequence Repeat Analysis". Weed Research. 45 (4): 255–260. doi:10.1111/j.1365-3180.2005.00462.x.
"Pueraria DC". Taiwan Plant Names.
Jewett, D. K.; Jiang, C. J.; Britton, K. O.; Sun, J. H.; Tang, J. (2003). "Characterizing Specimens of Kudzu and Related Taxa with RAPD's". Castanea. Southern Appalachian Botanical Society. 68 (3): 254–260. ISSN 0008-7475. JSTOR 4034173.
"Pueraria omeiensis T.Tang & Wang". World Flora Online.

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