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Wisteria frutescens (L.) Poir.
American wisteria, Texas wisteria, Kentucky wisteria
Synonym(s): Kraunhia frutescens, Kraunhia macrostachya, Wisteria frutescens var. macrostachya, Wisteria macrostachya
USDA Symbol: WIFR
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
American wisteria is a high-climbing woody, deciduous vine, 25-30 ft. long. Shiny, dark-green, pinnately compound leaves bear 9-15 leaflets which are opposite on the leaf stem, with 1 leaflet at the tip. The flowers are in large, drooping clusters 6–9 inches long that appear after the plant has leafed out, a difference from the popular Asian species. The blooms only appear on new wood. Individual flowers are nearly 1 inch long and are lilac or bluish purple and quite fragrant. A brown, bean-like pod persists until winter. This species is less aggressive than the similar Asian species.
American wisteria is often used as an ornamental planting and has probably escaped from cultivation in many locations. In Texas, the Dam B cultivar has blue flowers in racemes and flowers late May to June and sporadically throughout the summer and fall. A cultivar called Nivea has white flowers.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Vine Leaf Retention: Deciduous Leaf Arrangement: Alternate Inflorescence: Raceme Size Notes:
Flowers in 4 to 6 inch flower
Brown 2 to 4 inch pod Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Pink , Blue , Purple , Violet
Bloom Time: May , Jun
Bloom Notes: Usually lavender blue in color, but occasionally white. Blooms only on new wood.
, WV Native Distribution:
Eastern US as far west as east Texas, Zones 5 to 8 Native Habitat:
Moist or wet woods; river banks; upland thickets
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8) , Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Drought Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Rich, moist to mesic, neutral to slightly acid soils. Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay.
Conditions Comments: Prefers a good loamy soil in a sunny south or southwest facing position, sheltered from cold winds and from early morning sun on frosty mornings. Plants can become chlorotic on alkaline soils. Prefers a rich soil, but some gardeners feel too rich a soil results in too much leaf growth. Tolerates seasonal flooding.
A lovely, aromatic Wisteria native
to eastern North American that is less aggressive and less damaging to buildings than the Asian species, but has equally lovely flowers. Can be trained on arbors, walls, and columns. Conspicuous Flowers:
Butterflies Larval Host:
Marine Blue, Zarucco Duskywing, and skippers Nectar Source:
PropagationPropagation Material: Seeds , Softwood Cuttings
Description: Cuttings best, because can take years to bloom from seed.
Commercially Avail: yes
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)
is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
Mr. Smarty Plants says
Vines for shade in North-Central Georgia
August 07, 2009
I am looking for something to hide a 6' wood fence that will grow in almost full shade. I have an area approx 2 feet wide to plant in. Since the fence and planting areas are stepped -- about 8 feet f...
view the full question and answer
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
- Austin, TXTexas Discovery Gardens
- Dallas, TXDelaware Nature Society
- Hockessin, DENative Plant Society of Texas
- Fredericksburg, TXCrosby Arboretum
- Picayune, MSTexas Parks and Wildlife Department
- Austin, TXGeorgia Native Plant Society
- Atlanta, GANPSOT - Austin Chapter
- Austin, TXNPSOT - Williamson County Chapter
- Georgetown, TXMt. Cuba Center
- Hockessin, DE
Record Last Modified: 2013-09-08
Research By: NPC, GAP