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Wisteria sinensis

Phonetic Spelling
wis-TEER-ee-uh sy-NEN-sis
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.

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
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Blue Sapphire'
  • 'Prolific'
  • 'White Diamond'
Tags:
#invasive#fragrant flowers#white flowers#purple flowers#pink flowers#weedy#vines#fantz#perennial weed#weedy vine
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Blue Sapphire'
  • 'Prolific'
  • 'White Diamond'
Tags:
#invasive#fragrant flowers#white flowers#purple flowers#pink flowers#weedy#vines#fantz#perennial weed#weedy vine
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Wisteria
    Species:
    sinensis
    Family:
    Fabaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    China
    Wildlife Value:
    Very few wildlife species use wisteria because of the large seed size.
    Climbing Method:
    Twining
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Vine
    Weed
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
  • 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 Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    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 Gray
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gray/Silver
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Stem is brown-gray, woody, twining.
  • Landscape:
    Problems:
    Invasive Species
    Weedy