Alphabetical Plant Listing

Wisterias with Dramatic Flower Clusters

Chinese Wisteria, Japanese Wisteria, Silky Wisteria, Wisteria sinensis, Wisteria floribunda, Wisteria brachybotrys


The beauty of the pendulous racemes hanging down to form a colorful curtain of scented flowers in spring and summer, the elegant foliage, the fascinating drooping seed pods, the fall colors of most varieties and the attractive gnarled trunks and twisted branches in winter, make Wisteria one of the best ornamental vines.

The length of the Wisteria clusters (or racemes) varies with the species, variety and growing conditions. A same variety might produce longer or shorter clusters depending on weather and growing conditions. Moreover, the flower clusters will get longer as the plant matures and becomes well established.

  • Wisteria frutescens (American wisteria) has the shortest clusters, about 2-5 in. long (5-7 cm), thus eliminating it as a spectacular ornamental vine.
  • Wisteria floribunda (Japanese Wisteria) has the longest, some of its varieties having clusters 36 in. long (90 cm). Most floribunda cultivars range between 12-14 in. long (30-35 cm).

The length of Wisteria racemes is an important factor to consider when buying.

  • If you wish to cover a pergola, the best effect will be obtained by Wisterias with long racemes. Wisteria floribunda, which has the longest racemes of all the species, provides a dramatic display on garden structures such as pergolas where the racemes can hang free, unimpeded by branches or foliage.
  • If you wish to cover a wall, while most wisterias would be effective grown in this manner, the short-racemed Wisterias would be more successful. Wisteria sinensis (Chinese Wisteria) is the species most suitable for walls where its shortish racemes are displayed to advantage.

Here is a list of Wisteria cultivars organized by their raceme lengths.

Guide Information

Hardiness 5 - 8
Heat Zones 5 - 8
Climate Zones 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Climbers
Plant Family Wisteria
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Mid)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance High
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Plant of Merit, Showy
Tolerance Deer, Drought
Attracts Butterflies
Landscaping Ideas Arbors, Pergolas, Trellises, Wall-Side Borders, Walls and Fences
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Informal and Cottage, Mediterranean Garden
Compare All Wisteria Great Plant Combination Ideas with Wisteria Guides with Wisteria

maeterlinck999 / 123RF Stock Photo

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.

Guide Information

Hardiness 5 - 8
Heat Zones 5 - 8
Climate Zones 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Climbers
Plant Family Wisteria
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Mid)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance High
Soil Type Chalk, Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Plant of Merit, Showy
Tolerance Deer, Drought
Attracts Butterflies
Landscaping Ideas Arbors, Pergolas, Trellises, Wall-Side Borders, Walls and Fences
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Informal and Cottage, Mediterranean Garden
Compare All Wisteria Great Plant Combination Ideas with Wisteria Guides with Wisteria

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