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Chinese wisteria (Wisteria sinensis)

Chinese wisteria Synonyms: Rehsonia floribunda

Description: Brought to the U.S. from China in 1816 as an ornamental.

Habit: Deciduous, woody twining vine that climbs up tree trunks to heights of 60 feet or more. It twines upwards in a clockwise direction. Long-lived perennial, surviving 50 years or more.

Leaves: Alternate and compound, 6-10 inches long with 9-11 leaflets; leaflets are ovoid-elliptic to ovoid-lanceolate and have slightly wavy margins.

Stems: Stout, gray-brown and covered with fine white hairs. Older plants can grow to 15 inches or more in diameter.

Flowers: Dangling and showy, stalked clusters (racemes) appearing when leaves emerge, 4-20 inches long and 3-3.5 inches wide. Flowers bloom all at once. Pealike flowers, corolla lavender to violet and fragrant.

Fruit and seeds: Flattened legume pod, irregularly oblong to oblanceolate, 2.5 to 6 inches long and 0.8-1.2 inches wide. Velvety hairy, greenish brown to golden, splitting on two sides to release 1-8 flat round brown seeds. Seeds are 0.5-1 inch in diameter.

Habitat: Native to China. Found primarily along forest edges, roadsides, ditches and rights-of-way.

Reproduction: Vegetative reproduction is the primary means of growth and spread. Seeds may be produced when conditions are favorable.

Similar species: American wisteria (Wisteria frutescens) which is native to the southeastern U.S. to southern Virginia. Japanese wisteria (Wisteria floribunda) and Trumpet creeper (Campsis radicans).

Monitoring and rapid response: Manual, mechanical and chemical control methods all are effective in removing and killing wisteria. Systemic herbicides like triclopyr and glyphosate can kill the plant within a week.

Credits: The information provided in this factsheet was gathered from the Plant Conservation Alliance's Alien Plant Working Group.

Individual species images that appear with a number in a black box are courtesy of the network ( photo author credits may not be included due to the small display size of the images and subsequent difficulty of reading the provided text. All other images appear courtesy of Google (

Common Name:

Chinese wisteria

Scientific Name:

Wisteria sinensis







USDA Symbol: