Q: You identified the plant I brought into your office as an invasive plant, the Chinese wisteria. But I love the purple flowers. I removed it but do you have a suggestion for a vine I could use to replace it?
A: American wisteria is the best alternative as it is a native vine. It is not nearly as aggressive as the Chinese variety nor is the flower quite as large but I believe it is just as beautiful. American Wisteria, Wisteria frutescens, is occasionally found growing in stream and river margins, and in wet hammocks from the northern counties south to the central peninsula of Florida. American wisteria blooms in the spring and usually occurs in wetlands although it has been known to grow in non-wetland areas. In Florida, American wisteria is an uncommon native plant, unlike the common invasive plant, Chinese wisteria. My sons actually purchased one last year for me as a mother’s day gift and it is growing on an arbor by my mailbox. Those of you who know me also know I do not keep it wet. It has already bloomed twice this year – lovely! It makes me smile every time I see it.