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WISTERIA sinensis 'Alba'

Image of Wisteria sinensis 'Alba'

Maureen Gilmer

Family

Fabaceae

Botanical Name

WISTERIA sinensis 'Alba'

Plant Common Name

Chinese Wisteria

General Description

Introduced to Western gardens from its native China in 1816, Wisteria sinensis is a rampant, hardy, deciduous woody vine that blooms showily in late spring with long cascading clusters of lightly fragrant pea-flowers. The cultivar 'Alba' bears white flowers. They open in unison, providing a spectacular snowy display. Fuzzy green bean-like seedpods follow. The bright green pinnate leaves usually have 11 leaflets. This massive twiner can literally cover acres if allowed to romp freely.

This wisteria, like others, grows and blooms best in full sun and well-drained soil, and sometimes takes several years to flower. Soil that is too rich in nitrogen may promote leafage at the expense of flowers. Large and vigorous, Chinese wisteria needs a sturdy structure for support, and pruning to keep it in bounds. It can be trained as a small tree by staking a shoot upright, removing side shoots and restraining the top shoots by pruning for several years until the stem is self-supporting. It is listed as invasive in several areas including the eastern United States.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    5 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Vine/Liana

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    20'-90' / 6.1m - 27.4m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring

  • Native To

    China

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Vining/Climbing

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White

  • Fruit Color

    Green, Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Bark Color

    Brown, Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Screening / Wind Break, Vine

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes