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Wisteria sinensis

Phonetic Spelling
wis-TEER-ee-uh sy-NEN-sis
This plant has low severity poison characteristics.
See below
This plant is an invasive species in North Carolina
Description

This vine is considered invasive in the southeast. A strong vine that needs space and sturdy supports, with full sun for best flowering. In spring, 6-12 inch racemes of mildly fragrant blue-violet pea-shaped flowers bloom almost simultaneously, producing a very showy display.  After bloom, drooping clusters of velvety seed pods persist into fall.

Wisteria occurs on wet or dry sites and forms very dense thickets.   This invasive vine colonizes by twining and covering trees and shrubs and by runners sprouting at nodes.  Regular pruning is required for shaping and to control rampant growth and invasive tendency. Stems become twisted and trunk-like and massive over time.  The best growth results occur in slightly acidic soils.

It can be slow to become established.  Flowers may be not be produced until the 2nd or 3rd year after planting, sometimes much longer.  Pruning the roots in the fall may lead to more abundant flowers the next spring.

This vine differs from its counterpart Japanese wisteria (Wisteria floribunda) by counter-clockwise twining, fewer leaflets per leaf, and shorter flower racemes that are somewhat less fragrant.

Blooms in late-spring before or just as the leaves appear; is a rampant, invasive weedy vine naturalizing in the south; requires heavy pruning and vigilance to keep tidy; may be injured by a late frost; can be pruned to tree form, trellised (needs heavy support); can be hard to keep flowering.

Quick ID

  • Twining, woody vine with pinnately compound leaves
  • Pea-type flowers in pendulous chains in spring
  • Persistent, brownish, bean-like pods, 4-6 inches     

 

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  This very invasive plant is susceptible to foliage chewing insects and fungal diseases.  

Once planted, this plant does not take well to transplanting.  Choose your site wisely.

In order to control this plant, pruning should be completed on a regular basis.

Late spring frost can cause damage.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Satellite Dish Fountain
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Blue Sapphire'
  • 'Prolific'
    Typically flowers at a earlier age than other varieties.
  • 'White Diamond'
'Blue Sapphire', 'Prolific', 'White Diamond'
Tags:
#deciduous#invasive#fragrant flowers#drought tolerant#white flowers#purple flowers#pink flowers#weedy#vines#twining#deer resistant#deciduous vine#fantz#twining vine#perennial weed#weedy vine#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Blue Sapphire'
  • 'Prolific'
    Typically flowers at a earlier age than other varieties.
  • 'White Diamond'
'Blue Sapphire', 'Prolific', 'White Diamond'
Tags:
#deciduous#invasive#fragrant flowers#drought tolerant#white flowers#purple flowers#pink flowers#weedy#vines#twining#deer resistant#deciduous vine#fantz#twining vine#perennial weed#weedy vine#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Wisteria
    Species:
    sinensis
    Family:
    Fabaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Grafting
    Layering
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    China
    Distribution:
    Eastern USA
    Wildlife Value:
    Very few wildlife species use wisteria because of the large seed size, whoever does attract butterflies.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Buffer
    Defines Paths
    Fragrance
    Screening
    Textural
    Wind Break
    Climbing Method:
    Twining
    Dimensions:
    Height: 10 ft. 0 in. - 25 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 4 ft. 0 in. - 30 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Vine
    Weed
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Climbing
    Creeping
    Dense
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    High
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Green
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Legume
    Fruit Length:
    > 3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    After bloom, drooping clusters of velvety seed pods persist into fall.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    6-12 inch racemes of mildly fragrant blue-violet pea-shaped flowers bloom almost simultaneously, producing a very showy display. Inflorescence is a raceme, terminal or axillary, pendulous, 4-8 inches.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are alternate, pinnately compound, 7-13 leaflets; leaflets elliptic to ovate, acute, broad cuneate, entire, pubescent on midrib beneath.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Dark Gray
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gray/Silver
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Stem is brown-gray, woody, twining.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Patio
    Rock Wall
    Slope/Bank
    Vertical Spaces
    Walkways
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Barrier
    Border
    Screen/Privacy
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Problems:
    Invasive Species
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses
    Weedy
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Low
    Poison Symptoms:
    Vomiting (sometimes with blood), diarrhea, depression
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Lectin, wisterin glycoside
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Bark
    Flowers
    Leaves
    Roots
    Stems