NATIVE RANGE: East Asia (China)
FIRST FINDING IN SLOVENIA: 2000
POSSIBLE TO FIND: april – oktober
FLOWERING SEASON: april – julij
DESCRIPTION: Left-handed twining vine, climbing anticlockwise over trees and shrubs. Leaves are spiralling, pinnately compound with 7 to 13 leaflets which are ovate with an acuminate apex. The numerous purple flowers (in some cultivars also pink or white) are borne in hanging racemes, 20-30 cm long. They appear in late spring with the leaves, all the flowers of one raceme opening simultaneously. Fruits are pods 10–15 cm long, finely pillose, brown when ripe.
HABITAT: Within its native range it grows in forests and ruderal sites.
STATUS: Widespread throughout Europe but so far mostly in urban areas.
SIMILAR SPECIES: Japanese wisteria (W. floribunda) has 9 to 15 leaflets and twines clockwise. American wisteria (W. frutescens) twines anti-clockwise like Chinese wisteria, but has 9 to 15 leaflets. It flowers only after the appearance of the leaves. Flower racemes are only 10–15 cm long. Its ripe pods are green and glabrous. Trumpet creeper (Campsis radicans) has opposite pinnately compound leaves. Its leaflets are coarsely serrated and its orange to red tubular flowers are up to 8 cm long.