American kidney bean

Wisteria frutescens | Also known as: American wisteria | Rating: 0 votes | Print / Pdf

American Wisteria is fragrant but highly toxic climber (insert obvious Desperate Housewives joke here…)

The lesser known of the Wisteria climbing shrubs, Wisteria frutescens is nonetheless one of the most impressive. Its bright green foliage marks it out as a very attractive option, with glossy, pinnate leaves ensuring a light freshness prevails at least until autumn. Commonly called the American Wisteria, it flowers quite late in the season, with its highly fragrant lilac or purple blossoms emerging in summer. It is also more discreet, with its pendulous floral panicles hiding behind thick foliage. But it can bloom in its first year, thus negating the patience usually needed for Wisteria. It thrives in moist but well-drained, and humus-rich soil. Pruning in spring is recommended.

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Known dangers?
  • yes
Dangers: comments
  • Avoid eating this plant, or risk having mild stomach upset.
Height [m]
  • 10
Spread [m]
  • 6
Dominant flower colour
  • Purple
Flower Fragrance
  • No, neutral please
Flowering seasons
  • Early summer
  • Mid summer
  • Late summer
Foliage in spring
  • Green
Foliage in summer
  • Green
Propagation methods
  • grafting
  • basal cuttings
  • layering
Growth habit
  • Spreading
  • Acidic
  • Neutral
  • Alkaline
Hardiness zone
  • Z5-9
Heat zone
  • H9-3
Winter temperatures [°C]
  • -29 - -1
Heat days
  • 7 - 150
  • well-drained but frequently watered
Soil type
  • sandy
  • Clay
  • chalky
  • loams
Sun requirements
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
  • Sheltered
Standard category
  • Climbers
Grown for
  • Fragrant flowers
Creative category
  • For Beginners
  • Colours
  • Show-offs
  • Roses & classics
  • Tough survivors
Garden type
  • Cottage garden
  • City
Garden spaces
  • Walls, trellises and pergolas
Gardening expertise
  • beginner
Time to reach full size
  • up to 20 years
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