Wisteria frutescens (L.) Poir.

  • Family: Fabaceae (bean, pea, etc.)
  • Common names: Kentucky wisteria, American wisteria
  • Synonyms: W. macrostachya, Kraunhia frutescens, K. macrostachya

    Climbing woody vine to 15 m (50 ft) long. Twigs of current season short-hairy. Leaves 10-30 cm (4-12 in) long. Leaflets usually 9-15, hairy when young, 2-6 cm (0.8-2.4 in) long and 1-2 cm (0.4-0.8 in) wide, oblong to ovate-lanceolate. Inflorescence densely-flowered racemes 4-12 cm (1.6-4.7 in) long. Flowers blue-violet, about 2 cm (0.8 in) long, with densely pubescent calyx, blooming in Spring. Fruits narrow legumes 5-10 cm (2-4 in) long, maturing in Summer.

    Distribution: Native to the southeastern quarter of the U. S., mostly in the Coastal Plain.
    Habitat: Wet bottomland forests and streambanks.
    NWI status: FACW
    Comment: This and several other species of Wisteria are cultivated as ornamentals. Wisteria honors physician and scientist Caspar Wistar, of Philadelphia; frutescens means shrubby, although this species is usually a vine.

    Distribution in Oklahoma:

    Last update: 9/23/99
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