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Useful Temperate Plants

Wisteria frutescens

(L.) Poir.

Fabaceae

+ Synonyms

Bradlea macrostachya (Torr. & A.Gray) Small

Glycine frutescens L.

Kraunhia frutescens (L.) Kuntze

Kraunhia macrostachya (Torr. & A.Gray) Small

Wisteria macrostachya (Torr. & A.Gray) B.L.Rob. & Fernald

Common Name: American Wisteria

No Image.

General Information

Wisteria frutescens is a deciduous climbing shrub with slender, twining stems that can climb into nearby trees and shrubs and, if given the space, can spread 12 metres or more from each side of the main stem[
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food. It is grown as an ornamental, valued especially for its summer floral display.

Known Hazards

The seed of all members of this genus is poisonous[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].The seed and seedpod contain a resin and a glycoside called wisterin. Toxic in large quantities, causing nausea, vomitting, stomach pain and diarrhoea[
292
Title
People Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://peopleplants.landcareresearch.co.nz/WebForms/default.aspx
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database of New Zealand plants and their Maori names and uses. An excellent information source.
]

Botanical References

11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.

Range

South-eastern N. America - Michigan to Massachusets, south to Texas and Virginia (probably naturalized in the north of this range)

Habitat

Clambering over cliffs and trees on woodland edges in low moist ground[
235
Title
An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States and Canada
Publication
 
Author
Britton. N. L. Brown. A.
Publisher
Dover Publications. New York.
Year
1970
ISBN
0-486-22642-5
Description
Reprint of a 1913 Flora, but still a very useful book.
,
249
Title
Wisterias: a comprehensive guide.
Publication
 
Author
Valder. P.
Publisher
Florilegium. Australia.
Year
1995
ISBN
0-646-22049-7
Description
Excellent information and photographs of this genus with a little bit about their uses.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
HabitDeciduous Climber
Height12.00 m
PollinatorsInsects
Cultivation StatusOrnamental, Wild

Cultivation Details


Prefers a good loamy soil in a sunny south or south-west facing position, sheltered from cold winds and from early morning sun on frosty mornings[
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Plants can become chlorotic on alkaline soils[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. A soil that is too rich results in excessive foliage at the expense of flowering[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
Plants can take a few years to settle down after planting out[
219
Title
Gardening on Walls
Publication
 
Author
Grey-Wilson. C. & Matthews. V.
Publisher
Collins
Year
1983
ISBN
0-00-219220-0
Description
A nice little book about plants for growing against walls and a small section on plants that can grow in walls.
]. Too much shade or too rich a soil are normally the culprits, some form of root restriction can be beneficial[
219
Title
Gardening on Walls
Publication
 
Author
Grey-Wilson. C. & Matthews. V.
Publisher
Collins
Year
1983
ISBN
0-00-219220-0
Description
A nice little book about plants for growing against walls and a small section on plants that can grow in walls.
].
An attractive plant, often frown as an ornamental, a number of named forms have been selected for their ornamental value[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
Any drastic pruning is best carried out in the spring, immediately after flowering[
249
Title
Wisterias: a comprehensive guide.
Publication
 
Author
Valder. P.
Publisher
Florilegium. Australia.
Year
1995
ISBN
0-646-22049-7
Description
Excellent information and photographs of this genus with a little bit about their uses.
]. Plants are very tolerant of even the most drastic pruning and will re-grow even if cut right back to the base[
249
Title
Wisterias: a comprehensive guide.
Publication
 
Author
Valder. P.
Publisher
Florilegium. Australia.
Year
1995
ISBN
0-646-22049-7
Description
Excellent information and photographs of this genus with a little bit about their uses.
].
Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
The stems of this species twine in an anticlockwise direction[
249
Title
Wisterias: a comprehensive guide.
Publication
 
Author
Valder. P.
Publisher
Florilegium. Australia.
Year
1995
ISBN
0-646-22049-7
Description
Excellent information and photographs of this genus with a little bit about their uses.
].
This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. The plants also form a symbiotic relationship with a mycorrhizal fungus which makes more water, phosphorus and other minerals available to the plants[
249
Title
Wisterias: a comprehensive guide.
Publication
 
Author
Valder. P.
Publisher
Florilegium. Australia.
Year
1995
ISBN
0-646-22049-7
Description
Excellent information and photographs of this genus with a little bit about their uses.
].

Edible Uses

The fresh flowers are eaten in tossed green salads[
183
Title
Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications
Year
1990
ISBN
0-9628087-0-9
Description
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
]. They are said to be excellent when dipped in batter and fried in oil as fritters[
183
Title
Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications
Year
1990
ISBN
0-9628087-0-9
Description
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
].

Medicinal

None known

Other Uses

None known

Propagation

The seed does not exhibit any dormancy habits. It can be sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame and should germinate in the spring. Pre-soak stored seed for 24 hours in warm water and then sow in a greenhouse in early spring. The seed can also be sown in an outdoor seedbed in late spring[
126
Title
The Plantsman. Vol. 6. 1984 - 1985.
Publication
 
Author
?
Publisher
Royal Horticultural Society
Year
1984
ISBN
-
Description
Excerpts from the periodical giving cultivation details and other notes on some of the useful plants including Actinidia and Wisteria species.
]. Germination should take place in the first spring, though it can sometimes be delayed for another 12 months. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer. Plants are very slow from seed and can take up to 20 years to come into flower[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
Basal cuttings of side-shoots in early to mid summer in a frame[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Take the cuttings as soon as the new growth has hardened sufficiently, each cutting should have 2 - 3 leaves[
249
Title
Wisterias: a comprehensive guide.
Publication
 
Author
Valder. P.
Publisher
Florilegium. Australia.
Year
1995
ISBN
0-646-22049-7
Description
Excellent information and photographs of this genus with a little bit about their uses.
]. It can also help to remove a shallow slice of bark from the bottom 15mm of the cutting to expose extra cambium, since this will encourage more callusing and better rooting[
249
Title
Wisterias: a comprehensive guide.
Publication
 
Author
Valder. P.
Publisher
Florilegium. Australia.
Year
1995
ISBN
0-646-22049-7
Description
Excellent information and photographs of this genus with a little bit about their uses.
]. When kept in a mist frame with a bottom heat of 27 - 30°c, they will root within 4 weeks and produce well-established plants by the autumn[
249
Title
Wisterias: a comprehensive guide.
Publication
 
Author
Valder. P.
Publisher
Florilegium. Australia.
Year
1995
ISBN
0-646-22049-7
Description
Excellent information and photographs of this genus with a little bit about their uses.
].
Layering in spring. Simply lay any convenient long shoot along the ground and cover it with a shallow layer of soil. The shoot will readily produce roots at intervals along the stem. When these are well formed, the shoot can be divided up into a number of plants. These should be potted up and kept in a lightly shaded position in a greenhouse until well established and can then be planted out as required.
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2019-06-16. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Wisteria+frutescens>

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