September 11, 2013
Never heard of evergreen wisteria? You're not alone! Many gardeners have never seen or grown this vine and I consider it a very underused ornamental. Millettia reticulata, while commonly referred to as evergreen wisteria, is not actually related to true Wisteria. This vine does have a similar appearance to true Wisteria, but instead produces gorgeous deep purple to magenta pea-like blooms at the tips of stems. The color is almost irridescent!
This is a photo of my evergreen wisteria in bloom. The vine grows to approximately 15’ tall and 3-6’ wide, with dark glossy green foliage. Plants are winter hardy in USDA zones 8-11, but you'll find in Zone 8 plants may only be partially evergreen over the winter or may even drop all their leaves in a colder than average season. If they do defoliate, new growth will re-emerge from the dormant vines the following spring.
Evergreen wisteria needs a sunny location in order to bloom well, but can take soem late-afternoon shade. Make sure to provide this vine with good support like a sturdy arbor or fence. Bonus: The blooms are fragrant!