Chinese Wisteria
“Mile-A-Minute Vine” - Common Wisteria
Wisteria sinensis - (Sims) A.P. de Candolle
Favaceae (Pea) Family

Chinese Wisteria--Wisteria sinensis (Sims) A.P. de Candolle

Plant is a climbing woody perennial vine. Preferred habitat is swamp bottoms, roadsides, edge of woods, stream banks and particularly in the domestic landscape. Distribution is widely scattered throughout the Escambia region.

Leaves are alternate; pinnately compound to two or more identical leaflets being ovate to oblong; no teeth or lobes.

Flowers are in a terminal raceme; five petals; violet to white; ten stamens presented in two series, one a cluster of nine and the other having only one. Flowering season is in the spring.

Fruit is a legume.

American Wisteria, W. frutescens, is similar to Chinese Wisteria except the native does not form infestations and climb into and through shrubs and trees. The stems are slender, silky-shaggy hairy or short hairy. The leaves are oblong to ovate-lanceolate with pointed or blunt tips. The flowers appear in compact racemes after the leaves have emerged. The corolla is purplish blue to violet.

To distinguish the domestic versus the Chinese strain is difficult at first glance, but take a quick look at the size and shape of the flower raceme and note how tight the individual florets are placed in the cluster. The Chinese variety is loosely placed whereas the American is almost as broad as long and paler in color. Also, the American variety sprawls on the ground in moist habitats.

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