Sunday, May 18, 2014

Native Plants I Love

Wisteria frutescens (common name: American wisteria)

Do not confuse this lovely native wisteria with the vine that is eating the southeast. Chinese wisteria, while admittedly beautiful, is highly invasive and should never be planted by the home gardener. Wisteria frutescens is a deciduous woody vine that can grow to 30' or more. It features drooping clusters of fragrant, purple flowers in April and May, with occasional rebloom during the summer, particularly if the vine is lightly pruned after initial flowering.

"Amethyst Falls" wisteria vine on our back deck this morning

American wisteria likes full sun and does not like to be transplanted, so plant it and let it be. Like most vines, it will benefit from regular pruning to remove dead wood and to control the size and shape of the plant. We have planted the named variety "Amethyst Falls" in containers at the base of a pergola covering our back deck. In a few years, the vines should grow up the posts, meet overhead, and create a lovely shaded room during the summer, while letting the sun shine through after dropping leaves in fall. 

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