|Monday Melange: American Wisteria|
|Written by Heleigh Bostwick Monday, 09 August 2010|
American wisteria (Wisteria frutescens) is an herbaceous vine native to the eastern and southern states, ranging from New York south to Florida and across to Texas. A member of the pea or bean plant family (Fabaceae), American wisteria is hardy between USDA zones 6 and 9. It is however, much more common along the coastal plain of the Carolinas than in piedmont areas farther inland and to the north.
American wisteria is a twining vine and needs a support structure to grow on such as an arbor, pergola, porch columns, or a fence. The unscented large clusters or racemes of purple flowers bloom in late spring to early summer, with a second smaller bloom period in the fall. The most popular purple flowered cultivar is 'Amethyst Falls', but there is also a white cultivar, 'Alba'. The seedpods of American wisteria are smooth unlike the Asiatic versions, which are fuzzy. It is easy to care for, drought resistant, and deer resistant.
American wisteria grows well in either full or partial sun. It is listed as threatened in Michigan and Kentucky wisteria (Wisteria macrostachya), a variation, is listed as rare in Indiana.
Photo source: www.hiltonpond.org