Commonly referred to as Chinese wisteria or the Chinese Kidney bean, Wisteria sinensis is a flowering woody climbing tree from the family Fabaceae (Leguminosae: Mung beans and peas).
It is considered as an invasive plant in many areas, so only grow if allowed in your local growing area. If you are allowed to grow it then it can make a great plant to grow in areas where deer or drought occur.
Chinese wisteria plant, photograph by Babij; CC.
Related to pea plants, Wisteria sinensis can grow close to 100 feet (30 m) tall and is usually cultivated due to its fragrance and vibrant white, violet, or blue colored flowers.
Plants are hardy to about -4°F (-20°C) and is able to grow in up to zones H6 and USDA zones 5 to 8.
Chinese Wisteria photograph by Bri Weldon.
Showy blossoms appear in late spring and early summer. Flowers are a violet blue colour.
Wisteria can grow in several different ways. Although it is often grown on the side of buildings due to how well its vines can cling to surfaces and its heavy weight, it is also possible to grow in a tree-like fashion.
Initially from China, Wisteria sinensis started to be imported to other regions around the world by the early 19th Century.
In the United States, the plant is most prolific in the Eastern part of the country as it most closely matches the weather and soil conditions that it was originally grown in.
It can take years after planting a seed before flowers start to blossom, which is why it s common to purchase an already grown plant and have it transplanted into the garden.
Close up of Wisteria sinensis flowers in bloom, image by 阿橋 HQ; CC.
In order to grow Wisteria sinensissuccessfully, the plant needs to have constant access to sunlight.
It should be grown in well-drained soil with lots of nutrients and be placed away from other plants as it can easily grow over other vegetation. The soil should be acidic.
The plant can easily infiltrate structures, making it highly recommended to grow it near something sturdy and away from residential areas.
Chinese Wisteria usually requires about one inch of rain per week to stay healthy.
Alba cultivar of Wisteria sinensis, photograph by Leonora (Ellie) Enking; CC.