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Chinese wisteria

Wisteria sinensis (Sims) DC.

USDA PLANTS Symbol: WISI
U.S. Nativity: Exotic
Habit: Vine


Appearance
Wisteria sinensis is a deciduous woody vine capable of growing to a height of 40 ft. (12.2 m). Stems can be up to 10 in. (25.4 cm) in diameter with smooth, gray-brown bark. When looking down on the vine, it twines in a counter clockwise direction around the host.
Foliage
Alternate, pinnately compound (7-13 leaflets) leaves are tapered at the tip with wavy edges. Leaflets are approximately 3 in. (7.6 cm) in length.
Flowers
Lavender, purple or white flowers are fragrant, very showy and abundant and occur in long, dangling clusters in the spring, 6-12 inches long.
Fruit
Seeds are contained in flattened, hairy, 6 in. (15.2 cm) long, bean-like pods. Invasions often occur around previous plantings.
Ecological Threat
Wisteria sinensis can displace native vegetation and kill trees and shrubs by girdling them. The vine has the ability to change the structure of a forest by killing trees and altering the light availability to the forest floor. A native of China, it was first introduced into the United States in 1816 for ornamental purposes.


Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources

Nonnative Invasive Plants of Southern Forests - USDA Forest Service
Florida National Forests Invasive Plant Series - USDA Forest Service
Weeds Gone Wild: Alien Plant Invaders of Natural Areas - Plant Conservation Alliance
Weed of the Week - USDA Forest Service
Invasive Species Management Plans for Florida - University of Florida - Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants
Plant Invaders of Mid-Atlantic Natural Areas - National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service