The American Wisteria forms a deciduous climbing vine native to the forests and stream banks of the Southeastern United States, in North America. The vine also remains an opportunistic climber and often clings to virtually any support available.
Moreover, this plant appears to be endemic to a very specific range and habitat: wetlands and along river banks. Though humans do spread it widely, it only appears naturally in the southeastern portions of the U.S. The greatest concentration occurs in the states of Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia.
On a side note: do you recognize the wisteria from many wedding gardens? Wedding decorators love to include this plant in the wedding environment. Even though the plant does not represent a traditional stemmed bloom, it remains by far one of the most incredible backdrops for portraits. Most importantly perhaps, the floriography meaning of wisteria is welcome or I cling to you, both perfect for a wedding.
American Wisteria Physical Characteristics
The American Wisteria commonly reaches lengths of as much as 50 ft (15 m). They produce numerous clusters of blue-purple flowers which sometimes grow as large as 6 in (15 cm) in length. The foliage consists of shiny dark-green leaves that range in length from roughly 6-12 in (15-30 cm) in total length. The large seeds, which occur in pods, develop quite poisonous, so even if they look quite appealing to try, don’t do it.
Wisteria evolved as a spring bloomer and has a very short bloom time. Surprisingly, unlike the blooms of other wisterias, those of the American Wisteria have no smell. The smell of other wisteria is, along with gardenias, incredibly iconic. Also, unlike most flowering vines, the American Wisteria prefers direct, full sunlight – almost like it enjoys to always be in the spotlight.