American Wisteria (Wisteria frutescens) in the Wisterias Database

Common names:
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Botanical names:
Wisteria frutescens Accepted
Wisteria macrostachya Synonym

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Vine
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Water Preferences: Mesic
Plant Height: 15-30 feet
Plant Spread: 4-8 feet
Leaves: Deciduous
Fruit: Showy
Flowers: Showy
Fragrant
Flower Color: Other: Lilac-purple
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Spring
Dynamic Accumulator: Nitrogen fixer
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Butterflies
Resistances: Humidity tolerant
Toxicity: Other: Pods and seeds are poisonous
Pollinators: Various insects
Containers: Suitable in 3 gallon or larger
Needs excellent drainage in pots

Image

In Support of Vines and ClimbersIn Support of Vines and Climbers
May 18, 2013

Are you in an ongoing battle with climbers that insist on invading your space? Do they double in size overnight and block your way out the door? Here are a couple of ideas that might help.

(Full article28 comments)
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Photo gallery:
Location: In a church courtyard in Oklahoma CityDate: Spring, 2007Wisteria frutescens [American Wisteria]  in OkC 001
By jathton
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Location: My GardensDate: June 1, 2014Early Morning Dappled Shade/Sunlight
By TBGDN
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Location: In a church courtyard in Oklahoma CityDate: Spring, 2007isteria frutescens [American Wisteria]  in OkC 002
By jathton
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Location: Fielder House Butterfly garden Arlington, Texas.Date: 2012-04-27Beautiful flowers.
By frostweed
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Date: 2006-04-29Steven J. Baskauf http://bioimages.vanderbilt.edu/
By SongofJoy
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Location: Botanical Gardens of the State of Georgia...Athens, GaDate: 2018-03-30Wisteria 021
By dawiz1753
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Location: Jenkins Arboretum in Berwyn, PennsylvaniaDate: 2019-05-26flower clusters
By ILPARW
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Date: 2004-02-25Steven J. Baskauf http://bioimages.vanderbilt.edu/
By SongofJoy
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Date: 2006-04-29Steven J. Baskauf http://bioimages.vanderbilt.edu/
By SongofJoy
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Date: 2006-04-29Steven J. Baskauf http://bioimages.vanderbilt.edu/
By SongofJoy
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Date: 2006-04-29Steven J. Baskauf http://bioimages.vanderbilt.edu/
By SongofJoy
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Date: 2006-04-29Steven J. Baskauf http://bioimages.vanderbilt.edu/
By SongofJoy
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Date: 2006-04-29Steven J. Baskauf http://bioimages.vanderbilt.edu/
By SongofJoy
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Date: 2006-04-29Steven J. Baskauf http://bioimages.vanderbilt.edu/
By SongofJoy
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Location: Botanical Gardens of the State of Georgia...Athens, GaDate: 2018-03-30Wisteria 020
By dawiz1753
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Location: Jenkins Arboretum in Berwyn, PennsylvaniaDate: 2019-05-26vine on wood rail and wire fence in bloom
By ILPARW
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This plant is tagged in:
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Comments:
Posted by plantladylin (Sebastian, Florida - Zone 10a) on Feb 17, 2013 9:00 PM

American Wisteria is a Florida native, mostly limited to the panhandle area. This vine can climb 30 to 40 feet and has large, 4" to 9" long drooping clusters of numerous pea-like, 3/4 inch lilac to purplish flowers. The fruit of American Wisteria is a 2-5" narrow, smooth green pod that turns brown when mature. This woody, deciduous vine grows in habitats of moist areas, stream margins, swamps, and wet forests. American Wisteria is attractive to bees and the leaves are a host plant for caterpillars of the Long-tailed Skipper and Silver-spotted Skipper.

I purchased this plant at a local nursery about 15 years ago and planted it in my backyard to climb a pole. Unlike its relative, Chinese Wisteria (W. sinensis), the American Wisteria is a well-behaved vine that blooms profusely every spring. The flowers have a slight musky smell that I don't find appealing.


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Posted by SongofJoy (Clarksville, TN - Zone 6b) on Jan 15, 2012 3:28 PM

American Wisteria occurs infrequently in low open woods throughout much of the southeastern coastal plain area. It is not nearly as vigorous as the Chinese Wisteria which has escaped cultivation and festoons wild trees in our area, but it will still easily grow to 30 feet or more. The late spring and early summer flower clusters occurring on the current year's growth are similar 4 to 6 inch racemes of fragrant pale violet to lilac with a yellow spot. Grow this vine in full sun to light shade in average soil where you want the effect but perhaps not the strength of Chinese Wisteria.

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Posted by Catmint20906 (Maryland - Zone 7a) on Aug 3, 2014 2:30 PM

Wisteria frutescens is a larval host plant to a variety of Skipper Butterflies, including the Silver-spotted Skipper, Horace's Duskywing Skipper, Zarucco Duskywing Skipper, and Long-tailed Skipper.

It is a beautiful native alternative to the Chinese and Japanese wisteria which have escaped cultivation and been declared invasive in many states.

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Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Mar 25, 2019 6:56 PM

The American Wisteria has its alternate, compound pinnate leaves about 7 to 12 inches long with 9 to 15 leaflets of uniform size with each leaflet 1.5 to 2.5 inches long by 1.25 inches wide and slightly hairy below. The fragrant 3/4 inch long pale lilac-purple flowers have a yellow spot and are compressed into 4 to 6 inch long raceme clusters in June - August, blooming after the foliage appears and has recurrent flowering on the new growth of the season. The pods are 2 to 4 inches long, hairless, and with rounded seeds. Native from Virginia to Florida to east Texas along shores of watercourses and bodies of water, borders of wet woodlands, and swamps. (The very similar Kentucky Wisteria (W. macrostachys) usually has 9 leaflets that are 1 to 3 inches long and with lilac-purple flowers in 8 to 12 inch long raceme clusters and with pods 3 to 5 inches long and often twisted. Many consider the Kentucky to be a variety of the American species. that is found from Missouri to Tennessee to east Texas.) This American species is not aggressive and powerful like the Chinese & Japanese species.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
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