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   Wisteria floribunda (vine, climber)     
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      Foliage (Photo: J. Scott Peterson, USDA, NRCS, www.forestryimages.org) - Click for full size   Infestation (Photo: John D. Byrd, Mississippi State University, www.forestryimages.org) - Click for full size
    Taxonomic name: Wisteria floribunda (Willd.) DC.
    Synonyms: Kraunhia brachybotrys (Siebold & Zucc.) Greene 1892, Dolichos japonicus Spreng. 1826, Glycine floribunda Willd. 1802, Kraunhia floribunda (Willd.) Taub. 1894, Kraunhia floribunda (Willd.) Taub. forma albiflora Makino 1911, Kraunhia floribunda (Willd.) Taub. var. pleniflora Makino 1911, Kraunhia floribunda (Willd.) Taub. var. typica Makino 1911, Kraunhia floribunda (Willd.)Taub. var. brachybotrys (Siebold & Zucc.) Makino 1911, Kraunhia sinensis (Sims) Makino forma albiflora Makino 1910, Kraunhia sinensis (Sims) Makino var. brachybotrys (Siebold & Zucc.) Makino 1910, Kraunhia sinensis (Sims) Makino var. floribunda (Willd.) Makino 1910, Kraunhia sinensis (Sims) Makino var. pleniflora Makino 1910, Millettia floribunda (Willd.) Matsum. 1902, Phaseoloides brachybotrys (Siebold & Zucc.) Kuntze 1891, Phaseoloides floribunda (Willd.) Kuntze 1891, Rehsonia floribunda (Willd.) Stritch 1984, Wisteria brachybotrys Siebold & Zucc. 1839, Wisteria chinensis DC. var. flore-plena (Carrière) W.Mill. 1902, Wisteria chinensis DC. var. macrobotrys (Siebold ex Neubert) Lavallee 1877, Wisteria chinensis DC. var. multijuga (Van Houtte) Hook.f. 1897, Wisteria floribunda (Willd.) DC. forma alba (Carrière) Rehder & E.H.Wilson 1916, Wisteria floribunda (Willd.) DC. forma macrobotrys (Siebold ex Neubert) Rehder & E.H.Wilson 1916, Wisteria floribunda (Willd.) DC. forma rosea (Bean) Rehder & E.H.Wilson 1916, Wisteria floribunda (Willd.) DC. forma variegata (G.Nicholson) Rehder & E.H.Wilson 1916, Wisteria macrobotrys Siebold ex Neubert 1870, Wisteria multijuga Van Houtte var. rosea Bean 1914, Wisteria multijuga Van Houtte 1874, Wisteria multijuga Van Houtte var. alba Carrière 1891, Wisteria multijuga Van Houtte var. variegata G.Nicholson 1887, Wisteria polystachya K.Koch forma alba (Carrière) Zabel 1903, Wisteria polystachya K.Koch forma multijuga (Van Houtte) Zabel 1903, Wisteria polystachya K.Koch forma variegata (G.Nicholson) Zabel 1903, Wisteria sinensis (Sims) Sweet forma violaceo-plena Rehder & E.H.Wilson 1916, Wisteria sinensis (Sims) Sweet var. violaceo-plena C.K.Schneid. 1907
    Common names: Japanese Wisteria (English-United States)
    Organism type: vine, climber
    In its alien range, Wisteria floribunda is still used as an ornamental and often escapes from landscapes and becomes invasive in natural ecosystems. Wisteria floribunda infests forest edges and disturbed areas, including riparian zones and tolerates shade and a variety of soil types. In riparian areas, Wisteria floribunda spreads downstream as seeds float to new locations.
    Description
    According to Martin (2002), Wisteria floribunda is a perennial vine that can live for 50 years or more and can grow up to 38cm in diameter. Leaves are alternate and pinnately compound; they are up to 30cm long and consist of 13-19 leaflets. Flowers hang in clusters that sometimes exceed 40cm in length. Flower colour is usually blue-violet but other cultivars (which may be escaped plants) are white, purple, pink, and lavender. Flowers are usually produced from April to May in the United States. Seedpods are 10-15cm in length, hairy, brown, narrow at the base, and constricted between seeds. W. floribunda twines clockwise around host plants.
    Similar Species
    Wisteria frutescens, Wisteria sinensis

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    Occurs in:
    natural forests, riparian zones, ruderal/disturbed, urban areas
    Habitat description
    Typically, Wisteria floribunda infests forest edges and disturbed areas (Martin, 2002). Remaley (1999) notes that it grows best in full sun but is shade-tolerant. W. floribunda can tolerate a variety of soil and moisture types but it prefers loamy, deep, well drained soils.
    General impacts
    According to Remaley (1999), native shrubs are overtaken by W. floribunda through strangling and shading. Even larger trees can be killed by this vine, causing large gaps in the canopy when they fall; this open canopy furthers the growth of W. floribunda. This aggressive vine may form dense thickets allowing little else to grow.
    Uses
    Wisteria floribunda has been commonly used as an ornamental since 1830 when it was first introduced (Remaley, 1999). Martin (2002) notes that it has been grown extensively in the United States for ornamental uses on porches, gazebos, walls, and gardens. Many alternatives to this vine exist, including American wisteria (Wisteria frutescens), Trumpet creeper (Campsis radicans), Trumpet honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens), Dutchman's pipe/pipevine (Aristolochia macrophylla), and Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata).
    Notes
    The seeds and pods of Wisteria floribunda are toxic if ingested and may cause nausea, vomiting, stomach pains, and diarrhea (Martin, 2002). Wisteria floribunda is not as widespread in the United States as its brother vine, W. sinensis, which has caused problems throughout the eastern U.S.
    Geographical range
    Native range: Wisteria floribunda is native to Japan.
    Known introduced range:W. floribunda has been introduced to the eastern United States (Remaley, 1999).
    Introduction pathways to new locations
    Floating vegetation/debris: Seeds can float for long distances from plants growing in riparian areas (Remaley, 1999).
    For ornamental purposes: W. floribunda is a popular ornamental (Martin, 2002).
    Internet sales/postal services: W. floribunda is a popular ornamental (Martin, 2002).
    Landscape/fauna "improvement": W. floribunda is a popular ornamental (Martin, 2002).
    Nursery trade: W. floribunda is a popular ornamental (Martin, 2002).


    Local dispersal methods
    Agriculture (local): W. floribunda is a popular ornamental (Martin, 2002).
    For ornamental purposes (local): W. floribunda is a popular ornamental (Martin, 2002).
    Garden escape/garden waste: W. floribunda reproduces vegetatively so garden wastes should be disposed of carefully (Martin, 2002).
    Water currents: Seeds can float for long distances from plants growing in riparian areas (Remaley, 1999).
    Management information
    Physical: According to Martin (2002), current management approaches consist of mechanical and chemical methods. Mechanical methods should be used for small populations or where herbicides could damage desirable species. When cutting vines, cut close to the root collar to discontinue growth of existing vines and reduce seed production. W. floribunda will resprout, so it is recommended that the vine be cut repeatedly every two weeks from early in the growing season to autumn. Vines should be removed because they may continue to grow and girdle the host plant. Try to remove the entire plant (including roots) and dispose of all parts because any plant parts left can resprout.

    Chemical: Cut-stump herbicide applications should be used where there are large stands of established vines or where desirable plants occur and could be affected by foliar spray. Cut the vine close to the ground and apply glyphosate or triclopyr (25% solutions in water) to the cut area. If resprouting occurs retreatment may be necessary. This treatment is not effective if the ground is frozen. Foliar sprays should be used where mechanical controls would be disruptive and cut-stump methods are impractical, but additional precautions should be taken not to harm non-target species. Spray the foliage thoroughly, but do not apply so much that it drips off. Application may be more effective in warmer temperatures (above 15-18 C) because translocation is slower in cooler weather. Triclopyr is specific for control of broadleaved plants and may be beneficial if protection of valuable native grasses is of concern. Glyphosate is non-selective and should be used with care. Chlopyralid targets aster, buckwheat, and the pea family. However, chlopyralid can seep into groundwater in sandy and limestone soil types. Picloram may provide control in areas where desirable vegetation is not present.

    Reproduction
    According to Remaley (1999), vegetative reproduction is the primary means of expansion for Wisteria floribunda. In its preferred habitat, however, seeds may be produced, and in riparian areas they may be carried downstream for long distances.
    Reviewed by: Kristine Johnson Supervisory Forester Great Smoky Mountains National Park. USA
    Compiled by: National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII) & IUCN/SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG)
    Last Modified: Monday, 24 January 2005


ISSG Landcare Research NBII IUCN University of Auckland