There are several species of Wisteria, but three are most commonly encountered in the landscape: Chinese, Japanese, and American wisteria (Wisteria sinensis, W. floribunda, and W. frutescens). Both Chinese and Japanese are very aggressive vines, and will escape into wild areas, strangling any other plant they encounter. American wisteria is a native vine and is not invasive. Only American wisteria should be planted in a landscape, and the other types should be removed.
American wisteria is a deciduous vine that climbs by twining around a support structure such as a fence or arbor. It is deer resistant and attracts pollinators that feed on the nectar, and it’s also a host plant for caterpillars that feed on the leaves before turning into butterflies (specifically the zarucco duskywing and long-tailed skipper butterflies). It prefers moist to wet soil, and full sun to partial shade. The showy flowers appear in late spring, and in late summer, 2-4” bean-like seedpods appear. American wisteria is a great choice for growing on an arbor, training up the side of your house using wires (it will not stick to the surface like English ivy), or covering a fence.