Natural Highlights: American Wisteria

Visitors to the Ghost River section of the Wolf River in May will likely be treated to the sight of beautiful blooming American Wisteria vines growing along the riverbank.

American Wisteria (Wisteria frustecens) has much to recommend it over the Japanese Wisteria (Wisteria floribunda) which is popular with many gardeners.  Both species have beautiful flowers, but Japanese Wisteria is a serious pest plant when it escapes cultivation and invades natural areas, aggressively growing into and over trees and even killing them.  American Wisteria, as its name suggests, is a native plant and thus neither invasive nor harmful to our natural areas. It flowers after leafing out, whereas Japanese Wisteria flowers as its leaves are still emerging.  The drooping raceme of American Wisteria flowers is smaller than that of the Japanese Wisteria, though still spectacular, and a bit less fragrant, and the plant has smooth seedpods vs. the rough pods of the Asian species. American Wisteria is also a host plant for several butterfly species and provides nectar for numerous pollinators. 

To learn more about American Wisteria, please visit the links below.





Posted by Cathy Justis at 9:40 PM