Wisteria Amethyst Falls
Wisteria frutescens, commonly called American wisteria, is a counterclockwise twining deciduous woody vine that grows to 40’ or more. It is native primarily to moist thickets, swampy woods, pond peripheries and stream borders from Virginia to Illinois south to Florida and Texas. In Missouri, Wisteria frutescens var. macrostachya is found in the far southeastern bootheel area. Fragrant, pea-like, lilac-purple flowers in drooping racemes to 6” long bloom in April-May after the leaves emerge but before they fully develop. Limited additional summer bloom may occur. Flowers give way to narrow, flattened, smooth seed pods (to 5” long) which ripen in summer. Pods typically split open in fall. Compound, odd-pinnate leaves (each leaf typically with 9-15 lance-shaped leaflets) are deep green. American wisteria is not as aggressive a spreader as Wisteria sinensis (Chinese wisteria). Both Wisteria frutescens (American wisteria) and Wisteria sinensis (Chinese wisteria) twine in a counterclockwise direction but Wisteria floribunda (Japanese wisteria) twines clockwise.