Another beautiful plant seemingly growing wild along our roadsides these days is wisteria. Boasting lovely lavender blossoms, wisteria sprouts up wherever there is an opening. The plant is so hardy, in fact, some gardeners have a difficult time getting rid of it.
Wisteria is actually a vine and must be pruned and kept under control or it crowds out other plants.
Wisteria is very hardy and fast-growing. It can grow in fairly poor-quality soils, but prefers fertile, moist, well-drained soil. It thrives in full sun. It can be propagated via hardwood cutting, softwood cuttings, or seed.
According to Mr. Wikipedia, wisteria grows best when allowed to shimmy up a tree,pergola, wall, or other supporting structure. Whatever the case, the support must be very sturdy, because mature wisteria can become immensely strong with heavy wrist-thicktrunks trand stems. These can collapse latticework, crush thin wooden posts, and even strangle large trees. Wisteria allowed to grow on houses can cause damage to gutters, downspouts, and similar structures.
Chinese wisteria was brought to the United States for horticultural purposes in the early 1800’s. Japanese wisteria was introduced around 1830. Because of its hardiness and tendency to escape cultivation, these non-native wisterias are considered invasive species in many parts of the United States, especially the Southeast due to their ability to overtake and choke out other native plant species.
Invasive or not, the wisteria vines now in bloom and growing wild beside our highways are simply magnificent.