Scientific Name:Wisteria frutescens
About this Herb:Wisteria is a genus of flowering plants in the pea family, Fabaceae that includes ten species of woody climbing vines native to the Eastern United States (Wisteria frutescens) and to China (Wisteria sinensis), and Japan (Wisteria floribunda). American Wisteria is a woody, deciduous, perennial climbing vine that is native to the wet forests and stream banks of the southeastern United States, with a range stretching from the states of Virginia to Texas (Northeast Texas Piney Woods) and extending southeast through Florida.
American Wisteria can grow up to 49 feet (15m) long over many supports via powerful clockwise-twining stems. It produces dense clusters of blue-purple, two-lipped, 2cm wide flowers on racemes 5 to 15 cm long in late spring to early summer. These are the smallest racemes produced by any member of the Wisteria family. The foliage consists of shiny, dark-green, pinnately compound leaves 10–30 cm in length. The leaves bear 9 to 15 oblong leaflets that are each 2 to 6 cm long. It also bears numerous poisonous, brown, bean-like seed pods 5 to 10 cm long that mature in summer and persist until winter. American Wisteria is very similar to Kentucky Wisteria (Wisteria macrostachya) which has been considered a variety of W. frutescens but grows somewhat differently.