American Wisteria

rootdiggernc(Z-7A NC)December 21, 2005

I've always loved Wisteria, but don't want one of the thuggy Chinese or Japanese varieties. I've been looking at some of the American Wisteria frutescens. Found three cultivars, Longwood Purple, Amethyst Falls and Nivea, but there seems to be a wide range of opinions as to their scent. Does anyone have personal experience with any of these? Thanks D

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Well, I haven't grown them in my yard, but I have visited them at the Coker and JC Raulston Arboretums. As for the fragrance -- think male cat. I will be interested in what others say about this. DH and I were in agreement about the scent and both of us thought it was repulsive!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2005 at 1:32PM
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Forgot to mention that the ones I described above were plants of Amethyst Falls.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2005 at 1:36PM
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Claire Pickett

Rootie, I have amethyst falls. It does not appear to be the science fiction monster that the wild variety is...marching through forests with no limit to its depth and breadth. AF blooms later than the typical type with smaller, more compact draping clusters. Though it is very near to a wooden structure in my garden, I keep it away. It's growing almost like a free-standing bush with a little support from wire that is supported by the wooden structure.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2005 at 7:25PM
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rootdiggernc(Z-7A NC)

I saw some at the Raulston Arboretum, but at that time (they were fading) there wasn't much smell to any of them. I'll have to see/smell them again before I decide. I love their beauty, but really want the wonderful scent to go along with that.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2005 at 1:03PM
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I looked up a couple of threads on this plant, since I have been curious about it too even though I am not fond of the scent. I have either the Japanese or Chinese wisteria that I grow as a shrub and it does have a wonderful fragrance. If you scroll down there are at least three people who have had this plant a while.

Here is a link that may be useful: thread on American wisteria.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2005 at 8:51AM
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rootdiggernc(Z-7A NC)

Thanks Alicia, that was a good read. Did you notice that the plant the original poster mentioned "Amethyst Falls" was not what the link pictured? It was the Japanese wisteria, 'Amethyst BLUE' It's way too easy to get the names confused.

I think I'm going to hold off on the Amethyst Falls. What Alan had was gorgeous, but I'd really like a nice scented one. Maybe the Longwood Purple or Nivea will work.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2005 at 9:14AM
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Claire Pickett

Rootdigger, if it's scent you are looking for, AF may not be the wisteria for you. I'm more of a looks gardener than scent, but I do not recall much of a 'spicy perfume' fragrance from mine. This cultivar was started from a stem mutation on a W. frutescens in SC (how native is that!)! Ordinarily this would mean that seedlings would revert to the parent and babies would overtake your yard, but luckily, no seed pods develop on AF.

It's quite compact, sans suckers, so IMHO it might be appropriate for a mailbox setting. I've seen plenty of honeysuckles tamed successfully for that use.

Having read that stem cuttings actually bloom in the pot, I may try to make some for the swap. I also learned that I should be lightly pruning after flowering for late summer rebloom. Thanks Rootie, for bringing up this topic...I learned lots.

claire in sanford

    Bookmark   December 27, 2005 at 9:29AM
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Yes, lol, I noticed that. I hope he got them away from his mailbox.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2005 at 9:31AM
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I just read on the roses forum about an American wisteria that's supposed to have a good fragrance: Blue Moon.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2006 at 9:43PM
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rootdiggernc(Z-7A NC)

Thanks Alicia, I ran across Amethyst Falls for a good price 'BB' so went ahead and grabbed it. I'm still going to look for a more frangrant one. I did some looking around and Blue Moon does sound good, but I think I'll wait a bit and see how it does for people.

Here is a link that might be useful: Blue Moon

    Bookmark   February 25, 2006 at 11:52AM
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Tammy Kennedy

i bought one last summer and never figured out where to put it, so like pup, this thread has been really helpful. i learned lots. how tall does yours get on your wire system, pup? does anyone know if they can handle a little shade? tammy

    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 9:39PM
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kal2769(Zone 8)

I have had my "Amethyst Falls" for two years now. Mine is a rampant grower, (capable of covering an arbor in a season, but mine is in part sun, so it stretches a bit. It has been a wonderful bloomer. Though the rebloom has not been spectacular, if it was in full sun it might prove better for the flowering. I have not noticed any scent, pleasent or otherwise associated with this plant. I enjoy the spring show so much I have the vine in a prominent position right beside my front door. It is such a nice plant I don't even mind having the naked woody stems showing all winter. I have mine planted in the ground now, but will be digging it up so I can bring with me when I move, (otherwise it may cover surrounding trees if not pruned).

    Bookmark   February 28, 2006 at 12:13AM
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Tammy The American wisteria does get some shade at the Coker Arboretum.

Keith I wonder if yours is actually "Amethyst Falls". Again I don't grow it, but I've seen it at JC Raulston, Coker and Cape Fear arboretums and it was not a rampant grower.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2006 at 8:52AM
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Tammy Kennedy

thanks for the info! good to know- that opens up where i can put it in my yard significantly. it also helps to know it isn't typically a huge leaper. tam

    Bookmark   February 28, 2006 at 5:48PM
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kal2769(Zone 8)

Alicia, I can only assume that it is as it did not come with a tag. However, the pictures I have seen from other's plants leaves me with little doubt. To clarify, I have not been in close proximity to the "thuggy" chinese wisteria, so my description is based on the groth rate of other vines I have grown, like Mandevilla.

p.s. maybe I got a mutant plant ;)

    Bookmark   March 1, 2006 at 12:11AM
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I just planted an amethyst falls wisteria a couple days ago. It stands about three feet tall with some blooms. My issue is...I bet a friend that it would grow at least five feet taller by the end of fall (December). Can anybody tell me if I will be winning this bet? What can I fertilize with? I have a pretty green thumb...and am very competitive. I want to win this bet. Any info would be greatly appreciated (as long as it is what I want to hear!)

    Bookmark   April 20, 2007 at 10:43PM
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rootdiggernc(Z-7A NC)

It might, but I wouldn't bet the house on it, lol... Mine is just sitting there after it was bit by that freeze we had. I thought it was going to be OK, at least the buds but it's not a happy camper right now. Mine grew maybe 2 or 3 feet after planting it last year. This one is not supposed to take over the world like the invasive ones do.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2007 at 3:35PM
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I've got some of the native variety growing on a piece of fence. I don't know what cultivar it would be as I find it growing wild down in the floodway. The freeze a couple of weeks ago knocked this one back badly, but it'll come back. Might not bloom much this year, though.
This one doesn't spread anything like the Asians, I haven't found it growing more than eight or ten feet up. The flowers aren't nearly so showy, either, but that's a small price to save the trees.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2007 at 4:34PM
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According to Michael Dirr (Manual of Woody Landscape Plants) Amythest Falls wisteria has a wonderful scent. He also differentiates Japanese and American wisteria by the direction in which they twine. Japanese twines clockwise and American twines counter-clockwise.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 12:02PM
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