This article has been marked as incomplete and in need of reformatting. Please help us to improve it.

Practical Plants is a community wiki. You can edit this page to improve the quality of the information it contains. To learn how, please read the editing guide.


Toxic parts

The seed of all members of this genus is poisonous[1]. The bark contains a glycoside and a resin that are both poisonous[2]. The seed and seedpod contains a resin and a glycoside called wisterin. They have caused poisoning in children of many countries, producing mild to severe gastro-enteritis[3].

Edible uses


Seed - cooked[4][5][6]. Some caution is advised, see notes on toxicity at the top of the page.

Flowers - cooked. They are thoroughly washed and then boiled or made into fritters[4][5][7][6]. The flowers are also cured in sugar then mixed with flour and made into a famous local delicacy called 'Teng Lo'[3].

The leaves contain allantoic acid[2]. They are used as a tea substitute[2]. The young leaves have also been eaten[3].


Unknown part


Material uses

A fibre from the stems can be used to make paper, the fibre is about 1.3 - 3.7mm long[8]. Stems are harvested in the summer, the leaves removed and the stems steamed until the fibre can be stripped. The fibres are cooked for 2 hours with lye and then put in a ball mill for 3 hours. The paper is a buff colour[8].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

The seed is diuretic[9][2]. It is used in the treatment of heart ailments[9][2]. One report says that the stems and flowers are also used in Chinese medicine, but gives no more information[3].

Unknown part


Ecosystem niche/layer


Ecological Functions

Nitrogen fixer


Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


The seed does not exhibit any dormancy habits. It can be sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame and should germinate in the spring. Pre-soak stored seed for 24 hours in warm water and then sow in a greenhouse in early spring. The seed can also be sown in an outdoor seedbed in late spring[10]. Germination should take place in the first spring, though it can sometimes be delayed for another 12 months. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer. Plants are very slow from seed and can take up to 20 years to come into flower[1].

Basal cuttings of side-shoots in early to mid summer in a frame[1]. Take the cuttings as soon as the new growth has hardened sufficiently, each cutting should have 2 - 3 leaves[3]. It can also help to remove a shallow slice of bark from the bottom 15mm of the cutting to expose extra cambium, since this will encourage more callusing and better rooting[3]. When kept in a mist frame with a bottom heat of 27 - 30°c, they will root within 4 weeks and produce well-established plants by the autumn[3]. Layering in spring. Simply lay any convenient long shoot along the ground and cover it with a shallow layer of soil. The shoot will readily produce roots at intervals along the stem. When these are well formed, the shoot can be divided up into a number of plants. These should be potted up and kept in a lightly shaded position in a greenhouse until well established and can then be planted out as required.

Division of suckers in the winter[3]. If growing named varieties, it is of course necessary to ensure they are growing on their own roots if the suckers are to be true to type[3].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Wisteria sinensis. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.


Prefers a good loamy soil in a sunny south or south-west facing position, sheltered from cold winds and from early morning sun on frosty mornings[11][1]. Succeeds in partial shade. Plants can become chlorotic on alkaline soils[1]. A soil that is too rich results in excessive foliage at the expense of flowering[1].

Hardy to about -15°c[12][1]. Plants can take a few years to settle down after planting out[13]. Too much shade or too rich a soil are normally the culprits, some form of root restriction can be beneficial[13]. There are several named forms selected for their ornamental value[14]. Sparrows and other birds frequently eat the young buds of this plant and this is the commonest cause of poor flowering on established plants[12]. Plants sometimes have a second season of flowering in August[13]. The plants flower mainly on short spurs so, if removing unwanted side-branches, it is best to cut them back to 2 - 3 leaves rather than removing them completely since this will encourage the formation of flowering spurs[3]. Any drastic pruning is best carried out in the spring, immediately after flowering[3]. Plants are very tolerant of even the most drastic pruning and will re-grow even if cut right back to the base[3]. A climbing plant supporting itself by twining around other plants, the shoots twine in an anticlockwise direction[15]. Very tolerant of pruning, plants can regenerate from old wood[16]. Plants in this genus are notably susceptible to honey fungus[1]. Closely related to W. floribunda[10].

This species has a symbiotic relationship with certain soil bacteria, these bacteria form nodules on the roots and fix atmospheric nitrogen. Some of this nitrogen is utilized by the growing plant but some can also be used by other plants growing nearby[1]. The plants also form a symbiotic relationship with a mycorrhizal fungus which makes more water, phosphorus and other minerals available to the plants[3].


Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Wisteria sinensis. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Wisteria sinensis.




None listed.


None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Binomial name
Wisteria sinensis
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
full sun
no shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    Herbaceous or Woody
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    Mature Size
    Flower Colour
    Flower Type

    "image:N2 Wisteria4.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:N2 Wisteria4.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:N2 Wisteria4.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:N2 Wisteria4.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:N2 Wisteria4.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:N2 Wisteria4.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:N2 Wisteria4.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    "image:N2 Wisteria4.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:N2 Wisteria4.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:N2 Wisteria4.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:N2 Wisteria4.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki., "image:N2 Wisteria4.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:N2 Wisteria4.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. "image:N2 Wisteria4.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.


    1. ? Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    2. ? Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China Reference Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-917256-20-4 (1985-00-00)
    3. ? Valder. P. Wisterias: a comprehensive guide. Florilegium. Australia. ISBN 0-646-22049-7 (1995-00-00)
    4. ? Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World. Keigaku Publishing (1976-00-00)
    5. ? Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3874292169 (1984-00-00)
    6. ? Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.1 Reid. B. E. Famine Foods of the Chiu-Huang Pen-ts'ao. Taipei. Southern Materials Centre (1977-00-00)
    8. ? Bell. L. A. Plant Fibres for Papermaking. Liliaceae Press (1988-00-00)
    9. ? Stuart. Rev. G. A. Chinese Materia Medica. Taipei. Southern Materials Centre ()
    10. ? 10.010.1 ? The Plantsman. Vol. 6. 1984 - 1985. Royal Horticultural Society (1984-00-00)
    11. ? 11.011.1 Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)
    12. ? 12.012.1 Phillips. R. & Rix. M. Shrubs. Pan Books ISBN 0-330-30258-2 (1989-00-00)
    13. ? Grey-Wilson. C. & Matthews. V. Gardening on Walls Collins ISBN 0-00-219220-0 (1983-00-00)
    14. ? Brickell. C. The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-86318-386-7 (1990-00-00)
    15. ? Thomas. G. S. Ornamental Shrubs, Climbers and Bamboos. Murray ISBN 0-7195-5043-2 (1992-00-00)
    16. ? Davis. B. Climbers and Wall Shrubs. Viking. ISBN 0-670-82929-3 (1990-00-00)
    17. ? [Flora of China] (1994-00-00)

    Cite error: <ref> tag with name "PFAFimport-109" defined in <references> is not used in prior text.
    Cite error: <ref> tag with name "PFAFimport-50" defined in <references> is not used in prior text.

    "image:N2 Wisteria4.jpg|248px" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.

    Facts about "Wisteria sinensis"RDF feed
    Article is incompleteYes +
    Article requires citationsNo +
    Article requires cleanupYes +
    Belongs to familyLeguminosae +
    Belongs to genusWisteria +
    Functions asNitrogen fixer +
    Has binomial nameWisteria sinensis +
    Has common nameChinese Wisteria +
    Has drought toleranceIntolerant +
    Has edible partFlowers +, Seed + and Unknown part +
    Has edible useUnknown use + and Tea +
    Has fertility typeInsects +
    Has flowers of typeHermaphrodite +
    Has growth rateModerate +
    Has hardiness zone5 +
    Has imageN2 Wisteria4.jpg +
    Has material partUnknown part +
    Has material usePaper +
    Has mature height25 +
    Has mature width20 +
    Has medicinal partUnknown part +
    Has medicinal useCardiac + and Diuretic +
    Has primary imageN2 Wisteria4.jpg +
    Has search namewisteria sinensis + and chinese wisteria +
    Has shade toleranceNo shade +
    Has soil ph preferenceAcid + and Neutral +
    Has soil texture preferenceSandy +, Loamy + and Clay +
    Has soil water retention preferenceWell drained +
    Has sun preferenceFull sun +
    Has taxonomic rankSpecies +
    Has taxonomy nameWisteria sinensis +
    Has water requirementsmoderate +
    Inhabits ecosystem nicheClimber +
    Is deciduous or evergreenDeciduous +
    Is taxonomy typeSpecies +
    PFAF cultivation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF edible use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF material use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF medicinal use notes migratedNo +
    PFAF propagation notes migratedNo +
    PFAF toxicity notes migratedNo +
    Tolerates nutritionally poor soilNo +
    Uses mature size measurement unitMeters +
    Has subobjectThis property is a special property in this wiki.Wisteria sinensis +, Wisteria sinensis +, Wisteria sinensis +, Wisteria sinensis +, Wisteria sinensis + and Wisteria sinensis +