Leaf: Alternate, pinnately compound, 9 to 15 ovate leaflets each 2 to 3 inches long, dark green above.
Flower: Very showy, purple or white (depending on cultivar) pea-like flowers, occurring in long hanging clusters, 8 to 12 inches long, appearing with the leaves.
Fruit: Finely fuzzy, pea-like pods, 3 to 6 inches long, persistent.
Twig: Slender, light brown, raised circular leaf scar, appressed triangular light brown buds, and false terminal bud.
Bark: Smooth, gray-brown, and fluted. Trunk can be quite large for a vine; older specimens can reach a foot in diameter.
Form: A climbing twining vine, reaching up to 40 feet in height often covering trees and shrubs.