En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?


Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
rate this answer
1 rating

Wednesday - May 09, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Vines
Title: Slow flowering wisteria
Answered by: Jimmy Mills


We have a young wisteria growing on the side of the house. It began to flower this year for the first time. Whereas my neighbors' wisterias all bloomed in February, ours has only begun to bloom in mid-April. Is it possible that our wisteria is native, wisteria frutescens?


You may have the native American wisteria (Wisteria frutescens), but more likely you have either the non-native Japanese wisteria (W. floribunda) or the Chinese wisteria (W. sinensis). Whichever it is, the wisterias are notoriously slow to flower. This may be caused by a combination of factors including the age of the plants, the amount of sunlight, and nitrogen levels in the soil. Older plants are more likely to flower, plenty of light is a necessity, and high nitrogen levels, vis-a-vis phosphorous, reduce flowering.

As to the identification of the plants, one fairly reliable characteristic distinguishing the different species is the length of the flowering cluster (raceme). W.floribunda is the longest with 12-18 inch racemes; W. sinensis follows with 6-12 inches; and W. frutescens is last with 4-6 inch racemes.

Check the following sites for even more information about these beautiful plants. Oregon State University Department of Horticulture, and Growing Wisteria from the Ohio State University Extension Service









More Vines Questions

Variation in leaves for Vitis mustangensis
May 17, 2012 - Hi, I am doing a sculpture of a mustang grape vine in limestone. In seeking a good leaf image I notice that there are both roundish shaped leaves and highly divided or "fingered" shapes on your sit...
view the full question and answer

Few blooms on native Bignonia capriolata (cross-vine)
March 25, 2008 - I have an 8-year-old crossvine that has grown and bloomed beautifully until this year. During the winter it lost all of its lower leaves. What leaves were left had brownish-red splotches on them. It h...
view the full question and answer

Protection from native invasive trumpet vines
April 17, 2008 - Mr. SP: I have invaders! Trumpet vines from a neighbor's yard, two doors away have taken over and are eating my garage and trying to steal all the sun from my clematis vines. How do I get rid of...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen vine for wall and long-blooming shrubs in San Antonio TX
May 04, 2014 - What is a good native vine that stays green all year to plant along a rock courtyard wall? Also what are native bushes that flower for the longest period of time? Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Identification of vine in Louisiana
July 06, 2011 - I have two vines in my backyard. I've looked at pictures of each and they both keep coming up "virginia creeper." However, both are different. Neither causes an allergic reaction. One has leaflets ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center