Wisteria sinensis

Chinese wisteria

Nonnative to FloridaFISC Category 2 Invasive

Species Overview

Native to: China

Introduced to the United States from China in the 1800’s for use as an ornamental plant, wisteria has escaped cultivation and can be found across the eastern seaboard and west to Texas. Individual wisteria plants can survive for more than 50 years. It reproduces by rooting at each node, via stolons, by seed, and will produce new shoots if trimmed/cut back.

Species Characteristics

Family: Fabaceae

Habit: Woody vine that is only limited in growth by the height of the plant that it climbs. Can grow up to 19 meters in length and have a diameter up to 38 cm. Stems are dark brown and twine around its host counter-clockwise.

Leaves: pinnately compound, 10 to 40 cm long and are comprised of 23-29 oval shaped leaflets.

Flowers: lavender colored and are arranged on 10 to 50 cm long hanging racemes. Flowers open from the base of the stem first, progressing up the stem.

Fruit: pods with velvet-like texture and are 10-15 cm long.

Distribution in Florida: North and Central


By climbing into the canopy of trees or plants, it can shade them out, impairing those plants from effectively growing. Over time, wisteria will climb and twine around other plants, eventually shading and girdling native plants. Most infestations occur near homesites or trash piles where plants have escaped into the surrounding areas.

Control Methods

Preventive Measures

Do not plant.


Replace in the landscape with native plants like the native Wisteria frutescens


Mechanical methods are commonly used for wisteria management. For small wisteria infestations, cut climbing or trailing vines as close to the root as possible. Although this may be labor intensive it is a feasible pretreatment for larger infestations or in areas where herbicides cannot be used. Because wisteria will continue to sprout after it has been cut, it should be cut back early in the season, cutting sprouts every few weeks until the fall. This will stop growth of existing vines and prevent seed production. Wisteria vines should be removed from bases of trees and shrubs to prevent girdling as the trees and shrubs grow.


None known.


10% Milestone, 100% Garlon 3A. Basal bark: 20–30% Garlon 4. Foliar application of glyphosate may be necessary for sprouts. Multiple treatments may be required to control prolific lateral root sprouts. In areas with established wisteria, a cut stump treatment is effective. For larger infestations foliar herbicide applications may be necessary. To avoid damaging nontarget species, stump treatments should be administered before foliar treatments. The best time to apply an herbicide is in the spring and summer when wisteria is actively growing. Be sure to allow adequate time for the plant to regrow from the winter to ensure movement of the herbicide back into the underground portion. (As plants grow and mature, they begin to move sugars back into the roots). Consult your local UF IFAS Extension for further assistance with management recommendations. Additional information can be found in the EDIS Publication Integrated Management of Non-Native Plants in Natural Areas of Florida.

Learn more about this species

UF IFAS Assessment of Non-Native Plants in Florida’s Natural Areas

Five Facts: Wisteria in Florida

Atlas of Florida Plants


USDA Plant Database

Invasive Species Compendium

View records and images from University of Florida Herbarium