Monday, June 29, 2009


I realize that I have more plants than I can handle at the moment. Lots of things are coming into bloom right now. I will show you my Wisteria. For years and years I wanted a Wisteria, but could not figure out how or where to grow it. I was afraid that our climate would not allow me to grow this gorgeous plant. But boy! Was I wrong!

About 4 or 5 years ago I bought a small wisteria plant. I planted it near the fence, thinking that it could climb up that. A few days later I found that my plant had been dug up and was lying in a wilted heap on top of the soil. It was a mystery. I never found out exactly what happened to it. I replanted it, but unfortunately it never did well after that. I bought another plant the following year and watched it carefully. It started to grow and grow and grow! That sucker grew at least five feet that first summer. The following year I had a single drooping grape-like bloom! I was ecstatic! My neighbout was not! He kept cutting every new shoot that came over the fence into his yard. He had had a wisteria in his yard a few years prior to this. It was a present to his wife from their daughter for Mother's Day. It had many wonderful blooms on it the second summer they had it, but he cut it down because "it was growing too fast". That silly man does not like plants!

I bought a trellis for my wisteria, but it soon became too small. The plant has intertwined in it and I guess I will have to leave it there, but next year I am going to have my husband build an arbor for it to properly grow on. I love this plant and think it will look so amazing with all the flower clusters hanging down. I can already imagine myself sitting under it! Wisteria is a woody herbaceous perennial vine. It grows by entwining itself either clockwise or counter clockwise on anything that is available.
Wisteria is considered to be a weed in many parts of the world. And it certainly can be invasive. Its vigorous growth can choke out other plants. But it can easily be pruned to keep it in check. I plan to give mine a place of honour in the garden!

There appear to be two kinds of Wisteria. One is a Japanese Wisteria. (W. floribunda) It grows in a clockwise direction. There is also one that is a Chinese Wisteria. (W. sinensis) It grows counter clockwise. Mine grows clockwise so it must be the Japanese variety.

The blooms are borne on racemes - long pendular clusters -around the middle of June. They are a light lilac colour. Very beautiful! The leaves are pinate. There are about 9 to 15 leaflets on each. The seed pods look very much like beans, but the seeds are poisonous! This plant can live for 50 years! It'll be around a lot longer than I will.

Family: Fabaceae. Genus: Wisteria. Species: W. floribunda.
Common Name: Wisteria

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