Chinese wisteria (Wisteria sinensis) blooms cascading down from tall trees are among our most beautiful spring flowers. However, this exotic import also has an ugly side.
Chinese wisteria was brought to North America in 1816. It quickly became so popular throughout the south it was planted alongside porches, gardens, walls and arbors.
However, it quickly became apparent that this aggressive vine has a dark side. It seems that it just will not stay put. As such, its seeds and long sinewy vines enabled Chinese wisteria to quickly spread across the countryside to such an extent that today many believe that it is native plant.
When wisteria spreads it smothers out native plant communities and will even girdle trees as it makes it way to the tops of the tallest trees.
As a result, homeowners, and land managers have long been trying to eradicate Chinese wisteria. Although it has been repelled and even eradicated in some locales, this is a war that will not end soon.
If you enjoy the sight and scent of wisteria blossoms in your yard don’t turn to Chinese or its equally invasive close relative Japanese wisteria (Wisteria floribunda); instead plant our native American wisteria (Wisteria frutescens). This vine is not invasive and will display a bounty of gorgeous blossoms.