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Wisteria frutescens

American wisteria add to wishlist

Plant types and subtypes:

Light Requirements: sun, part-sun

Water Use: low

Soil Moisture: dry, moist, wet

Soil Description: acid, neutral, average, loam, clay, sand

Height: 25'-50'

Bloom Time: June, July

Bloom Color: violet, purple, lilac

Leaf Color: green

Hardiness Zone: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Additional Tags: attracts butterflies, climbing, deer resistant, fragrant flowers

Wisteria frutescens (American wisteria)
  • Wisteria frutescens (American wisteria)
  • Wisteria frutescens (American wisteria)
  • Wisteria frutescens (American wisteria)

Pricing & Availability

Description

Wisteria frutescens

Also known as:

American wisteria

,

Texas wisteria

,

Kentucky wisteria

Scientific Synonyms:

Kraunhia frutescens, Kraunhia macrostachya, Wisteria frutescens var. macrostachya, Wisteria macrostachya

Description

Wisteria frutescens is a climbing perennial, deciduous woody vine. The leaves are pinnately-compound, with 9 to 15 individual lance-shaped leaflets. The flowers are purplish, fragrant, and borne in tight clusters. These give way to elongated, smooth seed pods in fall. This species can be difficult to differentiate from its Asian, introduced, invasive cousins, however there are a few tell tale signs. The easiest way to identify the native species is when it's in bloom: it blooms later in the season (early to mid-summer), and unlike its exotic counterparts, after the plant has leafed out. The flower clusters tend to be tighter and shorter in the native species, and open gradually from the base of the cluster to the tip rather than all at once. Lastly, the seed pods are smooth whereas those of the introduced species are velvety.

Cultivation

American wisteria is easy to grow, and less aggressive than its introduced counterparts. It is however a heavy woody vine that can reach a mature height of 50', and careful consideration should be taken when deciding on a support structure for it to grow on. For best flower performance it should be grown in full sun, or part-sun with a southern exposure. It is not particular about soil, but overly rich ones can encourage excessive vegetative growth to the detriment of bloom performance. Its native range includes wetland margins, yet it will adapt to all but the driest garden conditions. Flowers are borne on new growth only, so any pruning should be completed by late winter. This species can also be trained to grow without support, and pruned into a self standing tree-like form. Zones 5-9

Propagation

Propagate from seed or cuttings. This species does not transplant well.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:
AL, AR, CT, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, MO, MS, NC, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, WV

USDA Endangered Status:

  • Rare: IN
  • Threatened: MI

Classification

Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida Dicotyledons
Subclass Rosidae
Order Fabales
Family Fabaceae Pea family
Genus Wisteria wisteria
Species Wisteria frutescens American wisteria