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Woody > Wisteria > Wisteria venusta > Wisteria venusta

Wisteria venusta

Silky Wisteria

Origin:  Beijing and other areas in Northern China.
USDA Hardiness Zone
5 - 8
Canadian Hardiness Zone
4 - 8
RHS Hardiness Zone
H4 - H6
Temperature (°C)
Temperature (°F)
3 - 8 m
0.9 - 1.8 m
Description and Growing Information
Flowering Period
General Description
Tall-growing, woody deciduous vine with significant ornamental value. Many racemes of white flowers during April – June makes this plant a show stopper, along with its bright green leaves covered in silky hairs. This vine is toxic if ingested raw.
Grown on sturdy structures not limited too arbours, pergolas, sides of buildings and fences. It can be trained into a specimen shrub or bonsai tree. Use in informal, courtyard, and cottage gardens.
​Grows in sand, clay, loam and chalk soils that are fertile and moist but well-drained. South- or west-facing in full sun to partial shade. Sheltered exposure such as a wall. Alkaline, acid and neutral soils it is ollution and salt tolerant.
ID Characteristic
Long drooping sprays of white flowers. Bright green leaves which are obovate and pinnately compound. Long pea like seed pods. The plant is a vine so it will usually require support. Soft white hairs covering the leaves, flower buds, seed pods and sometimes the stems giving the plant a silky texture.
Scale insects (Wisteria Scale). Can be affected by leaf spot and powdery mildews. Although susceptible to these pests they are not common.
Bark/Stem Description
Smooth brown bark. Fine texture and visible lenticels. Covered in silk silver-white pubescence. Bark is not a feature of this plant as stems are thin and bark is hidden behind the vibrant leaves and attractive flowers for most of the year.
Flower/Leaf Bud Description
Flower buds are large and plump, light green, scaled, and covered in fine white soft hairs. Leaf buds are smaller and dark brown.
Leaf Description
20 - 35 cm alternatively pinnately compound leaves that are bright green in colour and covered by soft hairs on the lower surface. Each leaves has about 9 - 13 leaflets with the terminal leaflet being the largest. Leaflets are ovate-oblong to lanceolate-oblong.
Flower Description
Showy white hermaphrodite flowers with central yellow stamen, florets are are about 3 cm long. Arranged in a raceme that is 10 - 15 cm long with flowers opening at the same time. Fragrant, white, tomentose, truncate and cuspidate. Pollinated by insects. It sometimes produces another flush of sparse flowers in autumn.
Fruit Description
​15 - 20 cm bean-like pods carry seeds and ripen in August - September. Pods are velvety and seeds are round, brown, and 1.2 cm in diameter. Ovary has 12 ovules.
Colour Description
Leaves are bright green mid-spring, summer and autumn. Flowers have white corolla with central yellow stain. Green seed pods. Medium-brown bark.
Texture Description
Smooth bark. Velvety pods and undersides of leaves. Texture is fine and the small hairs on underside of leaves change throughout season.
Notable Specimens
Sissinghurst Garden, Sissinghurst, England. Kemper Center Garden, Missouri, United States of America.
Propagated by layering, grafting, hardwood cuttings, or softwood cuttings.
Ethnobotanical Uses (Disclaimer)
Fibres from the bark were used to make cloth. Boiled leaves act as an anti - inflammatory.
“Wisterias.” Arnold Arboretum Bulletin of Popular Information 3.8 (1917): 29-32. Print. Zhi, Wei, and Les Pedley. 75. WISTERIA Nuttall, Gen. N. Amer. Pl. 2: 115. 1818, Nom. Cons. Rep. N.p.: n.p., 2010. Print. Flora of China 10.