Native Wistarias

May 25, 2018

Credit SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Making It Grow and Clemson Extension . There are two native wisterias I’ve found listed, Wisteria frutescens and Wisteria macrostachya. Sometimes Wisteria macrostachya is listed as a subspecies of frutescens but its inflorescence is longer and looser than in Wistaria frutescens according to the Missouri Botanical Garden. It prefers moist even swampy sites but s perfectly adaptable to normal garden soils.  According to the USDA Plant profile its native range is from Louisiana to Texas and up into Kentucky and Missouri   while Wisteria frutescens covers the entire eastern US from Maine to Florida.  The main visual difference between the native and Asian wisterias is bloom time and length of the inflorescence. Asian wisterias bloom before the compound leaves appear and the inflorescence can be up to 20 inches long. Both Wisteria macrostachya and frutescens flowers appear after the vine leafs out and their inflorescence is shorter.