Most vines can be challenging, some gardeners will tell you to avoid wisteria, for it can be weedy, invasive even, but the truth is all vines can be invasive, it's in their nature to be aggressive, spinning and twining their stems in a desperate effort to reach a position where they can take advantage of light. Vines are botanically designed to climb, through bushes, scrub and trees, aggressively trying to get above any competitive foliage.
|Wisteria macrobotrys has long, drooping trusses, which when completely open, can make my fence look like a waterfall of cascading color.|
I keep 5 selections of both Japanese selections, and Chinese forms. One really never knows what one has when it comes to wisteria, as seed raised strains are far more prevalent than clones. The name wisteria has a story behind it too - the genus should have be named Wistaria, and not Wisteria, as it was named in honor of Professor Caspar Wistar of the University of Pennsylvania, but an unfortunate misspelling while registering the genus has for ever kept the name Wisteria. Regardless of misspelling gripes and muddled genealogy, there are today countless strains and selections once one starts looking, and each has its qualities, be it fragrance, color or floral quality. Some varieties have very long trusses, nearly 2 feet long as in W. macrobotrys, others, particularly some of the newer Japanese floribundas have large, individual flowers on short trusses. Another interesting fun fact is that reportedly the Chinese varieties have stems which twine clockwise, whilst Japanese forms twine in a counter clockwise manner. I have never tested this, but it's legend in many gardening books, and I would love to hear more about why, and if it is actually a true fact.