Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Wisteria sinensis
(Chinese wisteria)

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Datasheet

Wisteria sinensis (Chinese wisteria)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 08 November 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Wisteria sinensis
  • Preferred Common Name
  • Chinese wisteria
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • W. sinensis is a perennial woody vine that is native to China. Its introduced ranged includes, Asia, Oceania, North America, South America and Europe. It climbs by twining around its support which it can kill i...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Wisteria sinensis (Chinese wisteria); flowers in spring.
TitleFlowers
CaptionWisteria sinensis (Chinese wisteria); flowers in spring.
Copyright©Sylvan Kaufman
Wisteria sinensis (Chinese wisteria); flowers in spring.
FlowersWisteria sinensis (Chinese wisteria); flowers in spring.©Sylvan Kaufman
Wisteria sinensis (Chinese wisteria); vines twining clockwise.
TitleVines
CaptionWisteria sinensis (Chinese wisteria); vines twining clockwise.
Copyright©Sylvan Kaufman
Wisteria sinensis (Chinese wisteria); vines twining clockwise.
VinesWisteria sinensis (Chinese wisteria); vines twining clockwise.©Sylvan Kaufman
Wisteria sinensis (Chinese wisteria); leaves and seed pods.
TitleSeed pods
CaptionWisteria sinensis (Chinese wisteria); leaves and seed pods.
Copyright©Sylvan Kaufman
Wisteria sinensis (Chinese wisteria); leaves and seed pods.
Seed podsWisteria sinensis (Chinese wisteria); leaves and seed pods.©Sylvan Kaufman

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Wisteria sinensis (Sims) DC.

Preferred Common Name

  • Chinese wisteria

Other Scientific Names

  • Glycine sinensis Sims
  • Kraunhia chinensis Greene
  • Kraunhia floribunda (Willd.) Taub. var. sinensis (Sims) Makino
  • Kraunhia sinensis (Sims) Makino
  • Millettia chinensis Benth.
  • Rehsonia sinensis (Sims) Stritch
  • Rehsonia sinensis (Sims) Stritch
  • Wisteria alba Lindley
  • Wisteria chinensis DC.
  • Wisteria chinensis DC. var. albiflora (Lem.) W. Miller
  • Wisteria praecox Handel-Mazzetti.
  • Wisteria sinensis (Sims) Sweet var. alba Lindl.
  • Wisteria sinensis (Sims) Sweet var. albiflora Lem.

International Common Names

  • Spanish: primavera
  • French: glycine commune; glycine de la Chine
  • Russian: glitzinya; visteriya kitaiskaya
  • Chinese: zi teng

Local Common Names

  • Germany: Chinesische glyzine
  • Hungary: kínai lilaakác
  • Italy: glicine
  • Netherlands: blauwe regen
  • Sweden: vanligt blaaregn

EPPO code

  • WSTSI (Wisteria sinensis)

Summary of Invasiveness

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W. sinensis is a perennial woody vine that is native to China. Its introduced ranged includes, Asia, Oceania, North America, South America and Europe. It climbs by twining around its support which it can kill it by girdling it or overgrowing it. W. sinensis vines can also grow over the ground reducing light availability to plants on the ground. It spreads by above ground runners and occasionally by gravity or water-dispersed seed. All parts of the plant are poisonous. W. sinensis has been reported as invasive in 19 US states and Hawaii (Swearingen & Remaley, 2013). More specifically, W. sinensis is managed in several national parks in the USA mainly because of its detrimental effects on trees. It is listed as a problem species in the restoration of bottomland hardwood forests in Mississippi, USA. Many invasive populations have been identified as hybrids between W. sinensis and Wisteria floribunda.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Fabales
  •                         Family: Fabaceae
  •                             Subfamily: Faboideae
  •                                 Genus: Wisteria
  •                                     Species: Wisteria sinensis

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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Wisteria sinensis (Sims) DC. 1825 is in the Fabaceae family (ITIS, 2013). The authority if placement is in the Leguminosae family is Wisteria sinensis (Sims) Sweet 1826.

Synonyms are listed by The Plant List (2013), GISP (2013) and Flora of China Editorial Committee (2013).

Many cultivars of W. sinensis exist including the white flowered 'Alba' and the double flowered 'Black Dragon' (Martin, 2013); however the following cultivars previously thought to be W. sinensis cultivars have been shown to be hybrids with Wisteria floribunda: 'Amethyst', 'Augusta's Pride', 'Blue Sapphire', 'Cooke's Special', 'Mercury', 'Southern Belle', 'Texas White' (Trusty et al., 2008). Many naturalized populations are hybrids of the two species (Trusty et al., 2007a). Hybrids with Wisteria floribunda usually have W. sinensis as the maternal parent (Trusty et al., 2007b).

Description

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W. sinensis is a woody, deciduous vine that can climb to 20 m.  The bark on older vines is dark grey with light colored dots (lenticels). Vines twine clockwise (left to right). Leaves are alternate and compound with 7-13 leaflets.  Leaflets are attached opposite to each other along the leaf stalk.  Leaflets have wavy edges and long, tapering tips. Young leaves are densely covered in silky hairs, but are almost hairless when mature. Grape-like clusters of fragrant lavender to purple flowers hang from the vines, usually flowering as the leaves emerge in spring.  Flowers are attached to the cluster by a short stalk. Pubescence on the flower is conjoined to the upper third of inner face of the standard (or banner) petal. Flower clusters (racemes) are 12–35 cm long. Flattened pods 6-15 cm long and 2-3 cm wide are velvety. Pods contain 1 to 8 flat, round, brown seeds each 1.2-2.5 cm in diameter (Trusty et al., 2007a; Miller et al., 2010).

Plant Type

Top of page Broadleaved
Perennial
Seed propagated
Vegetatively propagated
Vine / climber
Woody

Distribution

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W. sinensis is native to China where it is widespread (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2013). It is cultivated in temperate regions of Asia, Europe, North America, South America, Africa, and Australasia (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2013; GBIF, 2013; ILDIS, 2013; Kartesz, 2013).

In the USA, W. sinensis is naturalized from Vermont and Massachusetts south to Florida and west into Illinois and Texas (BONAP, 2013). It is also noted as occurring in Hawaii (PIER, 2013). Other countries list occasional naturalized populations of W. sinensis, including New Zealand (Webb et al., 1988), Spain (Campos and Herrera, 2009) and Argentina (Hurrell et al., 2011).

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes

Asia

AzerbaijanPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2013
ChinaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-AnhuiPresentNative Not invasive Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2013
-FujianPresentNative Not invasive Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2013
-GuangxiPresentNative Not invasive Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2013Northeastern area
-HebeiPresentNative Not invasive Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2013
-HenanPresentNative Not invasive Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2013
-HubeiPresentNative Not invasive Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2013
-HunanNative Not invasive Liu et al., 2003; Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2013
-JiangsuPresentNative Not invasive Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2013
-JiangxiPresentNative Not invasive Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2013
-ShaanxiPresentNative Not invasive Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2013
-ShandongPresentNative Not invasive Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2013
-ShanxiPresentNative Not invasive Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2013Southern area
-ZhejiangPresentNative Not invasive Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2013
Georgia (Republic of)PresentIntroducedILDIS, 2013
IndiaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-Himachal PradeshPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2013
-Indian PunjabPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2013
-Jammu and KashmirPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2013
-SikkimPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2013
-Tamil NaduPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2013
-Uttar PradeshPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2013
-West BengalPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2013
NepalPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2013
PakistanPresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroducedFlora of Pakistan Editorial Committee, 2013
TajikistanPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2013
UzbekistanPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2013

Africa

MauritiusPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2013
RéunionPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2013

North America

BermudaPresentIntroducedVarnham, 2006
CanadaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-QuebecPresent only in captivity/cultivation1990Introduced Not invasive GBIF, 2013
USAPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-AlabamaWidespreadIntroduced Invasive Clark, 1971; Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States, 2013
-ArkansasLocalisedIntroducedKartesz, 2013
-CaliforniaPresent
-ConnecticutLocalisedIntroducedGBIF, 2013; Kartesz, 2013
-DelawarePresentIntroducedKartesz, 2013
-District of ColumbiaLocalisedIntroducedKartesz, 2013
-FloridaLocalisedIntroduced Invasive GBIF, 2013; Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States, 2013; Wunderlin and Hansen, 2013
-GeorgiaPresentIntroduced Invasive Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States, 2013; Kartesz, 2013
-HawaiiPresentIntroducedPIER, 2013Kauai
-IllinoisPresentIntroduced Invasive Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States, 2013; Kartesz, 2013
-IndianaLocalisedIntroducedKartesz, 2013
-KentuckyLocalisedIntroducedKartesz, 2013
-LouisianaWidespreadIntroducedKartesz, 2013
-MarylandLocalisedIntroducedKartesz, 2013
-MassachusettsPresentIntroducedKartesz, 2013
-MichiganPresentIntroducedKartesz, 2013
-MississippiLocalisedIntroducedKartesz, 2013
-MissouriPresentIntroducedKartesz, 2013
-New JerseyLocalisedIntroducedKartesz, 2013
-New YorkIntroducedNew York Department of Public Parks, 1872; Kartesz, 2013
-North CarolinaLocalisedIntroducedWilbur, 1963; Kartesz, 2013
-PennsylvaniaIntroducedMeehan, 1871; Kartesz, 2013
-South CarolinaPresentIntroduced Invasive GBIF, 2013; Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States, 2013; Kartesz, 2013
-TennesseePresentIntroduced Invasive Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States, 2013; Kartesz, 2013
-TexasLocalisedIntroducedKartesz, 2013
-VermontPresentIntroducedKartesz, 2013
-West VirginiaLocalisedIntroducedKartesz, 2013

South America

ArgentinaLocalisedIntroduced Invasive Hurrell et al., 2011; ILDIS, 2013Buenos Aires province
BrazilPresent1993IntroducedGBIF, 2013
ChilePresentIntroduced Not invasive GBIF, 2013

Europe

BelgiumPresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced Not invasive Rodigas, 1859
FrancePresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced Not invasive GBIF, 2013
GermanyPresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced Not invasive GBIF, 2013
GibraltarPresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced Not invasive Varnham, 2006
ItalyPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2013
LithuaniaPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2013
MoldovaPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2013
PolandPresent only in captivity/cultivation1970Introduced Not invasive GBIF, 2013
PortugalPresent only in captivity/cultivation1965Introduced Not invasive GBIF, 2013
Russian FederationPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-Central RussiaPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2013Kaliningrad
-Russian Far EastPresentIntroducedILDIS, 2013Krasnodar
SpainIntroduced Not invasive Campos and Herrera, 2009; GBIF, 2013
SwitzerlandLocalisedIntroduced Not invasive Info Flora, 2013
UKPresent only in captivity/cultivationIntroduced Not invasive Woolverton, 1903; GBIF, 2013
UkrainePresentIntroducedILDIS, 2013

Oceania

New ZealandPresentIntroducedGBIF, 2013; ILDIS, 2013Great Barrier Island - Whangaparapara

History of Introduction and Spread

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The earliest recorded introduction to Europe was in 1816 by Captain Robert Welbank to Surrey, England, UK (Sabine, 1848). It is also recorded as having been introduced in 1818 by John Reeve (Royal Horticultural Society, 1903). The plant rapidly gained popularity as an ornamental in Europe and the USA. It is listed in many nursery catalogs and gardening journals as early as the 1830s (New York Department of Public Parks, 2013).

Introductions

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Introduced toIntroduced fromYearReasonIntroduced byEstablished in wild throughReferencesNotes
Natural reproductionContinuous restocking
UK China 1816 Horticulture (pathway cause) No Sabine (1848)
UK China 1818 Horticulture (pathway cause) No Woolverton (1903)
USA China 1816-1850 Horticulture (pathway cause) Yes Trusty et al. (2008)

Risk of Introduction

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W. sinensis is widely cultivated and occasionally becomes naturalized. Naturalized W. sinensis is often found close to cultivated plantings.

Hybrids with Wisteria floribunda establish frequently in the United States and may be more invasive than the straight species (Trusty et al., 2007a).

W. sinensis is listed as a major invader of eastern USA forests (Webster et al., 2006) and reported to be listed as invasive in 19 eastern US states and Hawaii, USA (Swearingen & Remaley, 2013).

Habitat

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In its native range of China, W. sinensis grows in many climactic zones, usually in woodlands (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2013) and disturbed areas. Botanist Robert Fortune (1847) describes seeing W. sinensis in Chusan, China, "wild on the hills, where it climbs among the hedges and on trees, and its flowering branches hang in graceful festoons by the sides of the narrow roads which lead over the mountains". 

In the USA, where it is an introduced species, it mainly grows along roadsides and forest edges, near old house sites, and along rights-of-ways (Langeland et al., 2008). It has naturalized in oak hickory forests, loblolly pines, and in mixed hardwood upland and bottomland forests (Stone, 2009). It is also noted as growing in disturbed areas in Spain and Argentina (Hurrell et al., 2011, Campos and Herrera, 2009).

Webb et al. (1988) describe Wisteria in New Zealand as, “frequently persists in deserted gardens and at old house sites, but is rarely truly naturalized and seldom sets good seed. Naturalized plants are the result of vegetative spread."

W. sinensis has been found in rare longleaf pine forests in the USA (Stone, 2009).

Habitat List

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CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial-managed
Disturbed areas Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Disturbed areas Principal habitat Natural
Managed forests, plantations and orchards Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Managed forests, plantations and orchards Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural
Urban / peri-urban areas Secondary/tolerated habitat Productive/non-natural
Terrestrial-natural/semi-natural
Natural forests Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Natural forests Principal habitat Natural
Riverbanks Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Riverbanks Principal habitat Natural
Scrub / shrublands Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Scrub / shrublands Principal habitat Natural

Biology and Ecology

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Genetics

Six haplotypes of W. sinensis were found in a genetic survey of USA populations (Trusty et al., 2007a), indicating a small amount of genetic variation among introduced populations. Haplotypes from USA populations were also found in wild-collected Chinese W. sinensis specimens. Chinese populations probably have relatively high genetic diversity (Trusty et al., 2007a).

Chromosome numbers are 2n=16 (Flora of China editorial Committee, 2013).  

Reproductive Biology

W. sinensis vines root at nodes and spread rapidly by stolons (aboveground runners). It can also reproduce vegetatively from cut stems (University of Florida, 2013).

Flowers are insect-pollinated. A study in California identified Xylocopa sp. (carpenter bees) as a pollinator (Frankie et al., 2009).

Plants grown from seed can take 20 years to reach maturity (Plants for a Future, 2013).

Physiology and Phenology

W. sinensis flowers best in full sun, but can grow in part-shade. Photosynthetic efficiency is highest in high light (Huang et al., 2004). It flowers in spring before the leaves emerge.

Longevity

Individual vines can live more than 100 years (Trusty et al., 2007a).

Associations

W. sinensis roots associate with rhizobia species, nitrogen-fixing bacteria (Allen, 1981).  

Flowers are insect pollinated and visited by hummingbirds (Stone, 2009).

Environmental Requirements

Plants prefer loamy, well-drained, organically rich soils but will tolerate a wide range of soil types and are drought tolerant once established. Plants have low salt tolerance (Langeland et al., 2008).

In China, W. sinensis grows primarily in mountain forests from 500-1800 m, from Hebei south to Guanxi and west to Shaanxi (Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2013).

Roots reportedly can survive temperatures of -37°C (Langeland et al., 2008) although plants prefer hot, humid climates.

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
Aw - Tropical wet and dry savanna climate Tolerated < 60mm precipitation driest month (in winter) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
Cf - Warm temperate climate, wet all year Preferred Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, wet all year
Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summer Preferred Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summers
Cw - Warm temperate climate with dry winter Preferred Warm temperate climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry winters)

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

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Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude Lower (m)Altitude Upper (m)
15-45 15-45

Air Temperature

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Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Absolute minimum temperature (ºC) -37
Mean annual temperature (ºC) 6.4 21.3
Mean maximum temperature of hottest month (ºC) 27.7 36.2
Mean minimum temperature of coldest month (ºC) -5.8 8.3

Rainfall

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ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
Dry season duration01number of consecutive months with <40 mm rainfall
Mean annual rainfall8131219mm; lower/upper limits

Rainfall Regime

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Summer
Uniform
Winter

Soil Tolerances

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Soil drainage

  • free

Soil reaction

  • neutral

Soil texture

  • heavy
  • light
  • medium

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Armillaria Pathogen
Eulecanium excrescens Parasite Stems not specific
Golovinomyces cichoracearum Pathogen Leaves/Stems not specific
Meloidogyne Parasite
Phyllosticta wistariae Pathogen Leaves to genus
Phymatotrichopsis omnivora Pathogen Roots
Phytophthora Pathogen
Rhizobium radiobacter Roots/Stems not specific
Septoria wistariae Pathogen Leaves to genus

Notes on Natural Enemies

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Texas A&M University (2013) lists crown gall bacterium, Agrobacterium tumefaciens [Rhizobium radiobacter], leaf spot fungi (Phyllosticta wistariae and Septoria wistariae), powdery mildew (Erysiphe cichoracearum [Golovinomyces cichoracearum]), cotton root rot (Phymatotrichum omnivorum [Phymatotrichopsis omnivora]), and root rot nematode (Meloidogyne spp.), as pathogens of W. sinensis but these diseases seldom cause a plant to die.  

Plants can also become infested with Wisteria scale (Eulecanium excrescens). This scale appeared in London in 2001, introduced accidentally from China (Central Science Laboratory, 2005). Other root rots that can infect W. sinensis include Phytophthora spp. and Armillaria spp. (Royal Horticultural Society, 2013).

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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Natural Dispersal

Seeds are dispersed by water and can travel along stream corridors (Stone, 2009).

Naturalized plants are often found close to cultivated plantings. Webb et al. (1988) reports that naturalized Wisteria plants are the result of vegetative spread. W. sinensis vines root at nodes and spread rapidly by stolons (aboveground runners).

Vector Transmission (biotic)

Heavy seed pods and large seeds appear to limit dispersal by birds and mammals (Miller, 2006).

Accidental Introduction

Plants can reproduce vegetatively from cut stems (University of Florida, 2013).  

 

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Breeding and propagationHybrids may be more invasive Yes Yes Trusty et al., 2008
Escape from confinement or garden escape Yes Swearingen and Remaley, 2010
Garden waste disposalVegetative reproduction from trimmings Yes University of Florida, 2013
HorticulturePopular ornamental plant Yes Trusty et al., 2007a
Landscape improvement Yes Trusty et al., 2008
Nursery tradePopular ornamental plant, widely sold internationally Yes Yes Trusty et al., 2008
Ornamental purposes Yes Trusty et al., 2008
Seed tradeWeb search results in numerous sites selling wisteria seeds Yes

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Debris and waste associated with human activitiesCuttings, uprooted plants Yes University of Florida, 2013
GermplasmSeeds, live plants Yes Trusty et al., 2008
WaterSeeds Yes Miller et al., 2010

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Cultural/amenity Positive and negative
Economic/livelihood Positive
Environment (generally) Negative
Human health Negative

Environmental Impact

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Impact on Habitats

W. sinensis vines twining around trees can kill even a large tree (Langeland et al., 2008). Canopy gaps form when trees die, stimulating the growth of W. sinensis. Dense growth at ground level blocks light to understory plants (Swearingen et al., 2010). Plants are nitrogen-fixing and have high leaf nitrogen content potentially increasing soil nitrogen levels (Wang et al., 2011). 

W. sinensis is managed on several national parks in Florida, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC in the USA mainly because of its detrimental effects on trees (Stone, 2009, Swearingen and Remaley, 2010). It is listed as a problem species in the restoration of bottomland hardwood forests in Mississippi, USA (Stone, 2009).

Social Impact

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W. sinensis plant parts are poisonous. Seeds contain lectins (Nasi et al., 2009). Hairs on the leaves may cause skin irritations (Langeland et al., 2008).

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Has a broad native range
  • Abundant in its native range
  • Is a habitat generalist
  • Pioneering in disturbed areas
  • Tolerant of shade
  • Benefits from human association (i.e. it is a human commensal)
  • Long lived
  • Reproduces asexually
Impact outcomes
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Host damage
  • Increases vulnerability to invasions
  • Modification of nutrient regime
  • Modification of successional patterns
  • Monoculture formation
  • Negatively impacts forestry
  • Negatively impacts human health
  • Negatively impacts animal health
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
Impact mechanisms
  • Causes allergic responses
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Competition - shading
  • Competition - smothering
  • Hybridization
  • Interaction with other invasive species
  • Poisoning
  • Rapid growth
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately

Uses

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Economic Value

A survey of the Georgia nursery industry reported that 14% of growers surveyed grew Asian Wisteria (W. floribunda and W. sinensis) and that revenue from sales of these plants in one year was $218,120 (Stegelin, 2006).

Social Benefit

In China the seeds and flowers are eaten and the leaves are used as a tea substitute. The plant is also used in traditional medicine and the stems can be made into fiber for paper making (Plants for a Future, 2013). Extracts are also being researched for medicinal use (Mohamed et al., 2011).

Uses List

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Environmental

  • Amenity
  • Landscape improvement

General

  • Botanical garden/zoo
  • Ornamental
  • Sociocultural value

Human food and beverage

  • Leaves (for beverage)
  • Spices and culinary herbs

Materials

  • Fibre

Medicinal, pharmaceutical

  • Source of medicine/pharmaceutical
  • Traditional/folklore

Ornamental

  • Potted plant
  • Propagation material
  • Seed trade

Detection and Inspection

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Numerous field guides list distinguishing characteristics of Wisteria species and some simple keys are available (Miller et al., 2010; Kaufman and Kaufman, 2013).

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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There are four species of Wisteria. They can be distinguished from W. sinensis by the number of leaflets, hairiness of the seed pod and standard, and direction the vines twine. Wisteria floribunda vines twine counter-clockwise and have15-19 leaflets. Wisteria brachybotrys twines counterclockwise but the inner face of the standards are hairy to the base. The cultivar W. brachybotrys 'Murisaki Capitan' twines clockwise but otherwise resembles the species (Trusty et al., 2007a). Wisteria frutescens (native to the USA) twines clockwise but has thin, hairless pods and the clusters of flowers are shorter, to 10-15 cm (Rhoads and Block, 2007; Milller et al., 2010). The flowers bloom after the leaves have expanded (Swearingen et al., 2010).

Prevention and Control

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Control

Physical/mechanical control

Cut vines away from trees and shrubs. For small infestations, cut vines as close to the root as possible. Plants will continue to sprout after cutting and will need to be cut repeatedly every few weeks throughout the growing season. Alternately, dig plants out including all roots and runners, or use a weed wrench or pulaski to pull plants out (Martin, 2002). Remove seed pods. Dispose of plant parts properly to prevent reinfestation (Langeland et al., 2008).

Chemical control

Cut stems close to the ground and apply herbicide to the cut stem. Spray actively growing plants with herbicide, being careful not to affect surrounding desirable vegetation (Langeland et al., 2008).

Ecosystem Restoration

W. sinensis often invades disturbed areas following burns, mowing or clearing. Areas like these should be monitored carefully and diverse native vegetation planted to prevent invasion (Langeland et al., 2008).

Gaps in Knowledge/Research Needs

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Little information is available on seed biology of W. sinensis such as viability of seeds and seed banks. Hybridization may be very important in invasion of this species, and this topic has only just begun to be researched (Trusty et al., 2008). It would also be useful to have more detailed studies on the impact of invasive populations of W. sinensis.

References

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Allen ON; Allen EK, 1981. The Leguminosae. A source book of characteristics, uses and nodulation. London, UK: MacMillan Publishers Ltd.

Biodiversity Heritage Library, 2013. Biodiversity Heritage Library. http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org

Campos JA; Herrera M, 2009. Diagnosis of invasive alien flora of the Basque Country (Diagnosis de la flora aloctona invasora de la CAPV). Bilbao, Spain: Direccion de Biodiversidad y Participacion Ambiental, Departamento de Medio Ambiente y Ordenacioen del Territorio, Gobierno Vasco, 296 pp. http://www.ihobe.net/Publicaciones/ficha.aspx?IdMenu=750e07f4-11a4-40da-840c-0590b91bc032&Cod=5fd95088-0390-49f3-833e-24a5de439e2c&Tipo

Central Science Laboratory, 2005. CSL Pest Risk Analysis for Eulecanium excrescens. Food and Environment Research Agency, Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs. https://secure.fera.defra.gov.uk/phiw/riskRegister/plant-health/documents/eulecanium.pdf

Clark RC, 1971. The woody plants of Alabama. Ann. Mo. Bot. Gdn, 58(2):99-242.

Flora of China Editorial Committee, 2013. Flora of China web. Cambridge, USA: Harvard University Herbaria. http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/

Flora of Pakistan Editorial Committee, 2013. Flora of Pakistan, eFloras website. St. Louis, Missouri and Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden and Harvard University Herbaria. http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=5

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Links to Websites

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WebsiteURLComment
Fire Effects Information System - Wisteria floribunda, W. sinensishttp://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/vine/wisspp/all.html

Organizations

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UK: International Legume Database (ILDIS), ILDIS Co-ordinating Centre Centre for Plant Diversity & Systematics, School of Plant Sciences, The University of Reading Reading, RG6 6AS, http://www.ildis.org/

USA: Mid-Atlantic Invasive Plant Council MA-IPC, http://www.maipc.org/

USA: Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council SE-EPPC, http://www.se-eppc.org/

Contributors

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09/08/2016 Original text by:

Sylvan Kaufman, Consultant, New Mexico, USA

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