Wisteria frutescens, commonly called American wisteria, is a twining, deciduous, woody vine that grows to 40’ or more. It is native to moist thickets, swampy woods, pond peripheries, and stream borders from Virginia to Illinois, Florida, and Texas. Fragrant, pea-like, lilac-purple flowers in drooping racemes bloom in April-May after the leaves emerge. Limited additional summer bloom may occur. Still, once done flowering, it gives way to narrow, flattened, smooth seed pods, which ripen in summer. Pods typically split open in fall. Compound, odd-pinnate leaves (each leaf typically with 9-15 lance-shaped leaflets). American wisteria is not as aggressive a spreader as Wisteria Sinensis (Chinese wisteria).
Best if grown in slightly acidic, humusy, moderately fertile, moist, well-drained soils in full sun. Full sun is needed for the best flowering. Although vines may produce flowers by the second or third year after planting, the first flowering may take longer. Vines need regular pruning(s) to control the size and shape of the plant and to encourage flowering. Consult a pruning guide for specifics on the initial training of vines and the types of pruning that can or should be done for these plants. An application of fertilizer in early spring can also help stimulate flowering. Choose growing sites wisely because plants dislike being transplanted.
Light: Full Sun
Zone: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Origin: Eastern U.S.