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  • Patterson Clark

Japanese Wisteria or Chinese Wisteria? Reading the coils

Updated: Dec 18, 2022


The direction that invasive Wisteria wraps around its host tree reveals the invasive plant's geographical origin. Chinese Wisteria (Wisteria sinensis) coils clockwise around its host. Japanese Wisteria (W. floribunda) coils counter-clockwise. But . . . is that clockwise from the base of the Wisteria looking up, or the flopped perspective of the tree facing down at the incoming pest?

It's from the ground up — but there's an easier way to parse the twining without thinking of clock faces: As you face the vines, Japanese Wisteria coils up and to the left (left-handed), Chinese Wisteria coils up and to the right (right-handed).

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