Sweetly fragrant, Wisteria sinensis (Chinese Wisteria) is a large deciduous climber with twining stems that is prized by gardeners for its vigorous habit, beauty and sweet fragrance. Masses of drooping clusters, up to 1 ft. long (30 cm), of scented, pea-like, mauve flowers appear in late spring before the leaves. Since they bloom more or less simultaneously, they always produce a dramatic floral display. The flowers are followed by attractive, velvety, bean-like pods, 6 in. long (15 cm), which ripen in fall and may persist into winter. Equally attractive is the foliage of dark green, pinnate leaves which consist of 7 to 13 leaflets to about 3 in (7 cm) in length.
Chinese Wisteria can be invasive in warm climate areas and may displace native vegetation or kill trees and shrubs by girdling them.
- A large, long-lived climber, Chinese Wisteria can grow vigorously up to 40 ft. (12 m). It climbs by twining anticlockwise (from left to right around the axis).
- Thrives in full sun or part shade, in moderately fertile, medium moisture, well-drained soils. Drought tolerant. Best flower production is obtained in full sun.
- Can be grown through a large tree or more formally against a house wall, arbors, pergolas, trellises, fences or trained as a free-standing half standard in a container. It must be sited and trained on sturdy structures which will be able to support the heavy weight of the mature Wisteria. Grow this plant around patios where the flowers can be enjoyed.
- Susceptible to foliage-chewing insects and fungal diseases, but none are significant. Deer resistant
- Needs regular pruning in order to control size and shape of the plant and to promote flowering.
- Propagate by layering, softwood cuttings, hardwood cuttings or grafting. Choose growing sites wisely because plants dislike being transplanted.
- All parts may cause severe discomfort if ingested.
- Native to China