W as in Wisteria

W as in Wisteria. Blogging from A to Z April (2015) Challenge | My Green Nook Family: Fabaceae

Genus: Wisteria

Species: Wisteria sinensis

Common names: Chinese Wisteria Swedish name: blåregn, kinesiskt blåregn

Wisteria is a genus of about ten species of woody, climbing flowering vines in the pea family, Fabaceae. They are native to the Eastern United States and to China, Korea, and Japan. Some species are popular ornamental plants. Wisteria climb by twining their stems, depending on species, either clockwise or counterclockwise round any available support. They can grow 20 meters high and reach a width of 10 meters. The flowers grow on long racemes, some spieces have scented bloom. The seeds are poisonous and grow in pea-like pods. Wisteria has nitrogen-fixing capability, so mature plants may benefit from added potassium and phosphate, but not nitrogen. Wisteria is an extremely hardy plant that is considered an invasive species in many parts of the US, especially the Southeast, due to its ability to overtake and choke other native plant species.

Wisteria sinensis is one of the most popular flowering vines for home gardens due to its grandiose blossom. But it will only flower after passing from juvenile to adult stage, a transition that may take up to 20 years. Meanwhile it can live for over a hundred years.

Wisteria sinensis 'Alba'. W as in Wisteria. Blogging from A to Z April (2015) Challenge | My Green Nook

Wisteria sinensis ‘Alba’ – Chinese wisteria. Photo: Tim Waters ©

Description: Wisteria sinensis is a woody, deciduous, perennial climbing vine native to China. It twins counterclockwise. It can be trained into a tree-like shape, usually with a wavy trunk and a flattened top.The flowers are white, violet, or blue and are fragrant. The racemes bloom in spring before the foliage has expanded. Usually reaching their peak in mid-May (in Sweden in June). The fruit is a flattened, brown, velvety, bean-like pod. It matures in summer, cracks and twists open to release the seeds. The whole plant is toxic if ingested so it is not suitable for playgrounds or likewise.

How to grow: Wisteria sinensis prefers moist well-drained soils. It is considered shade tolerant, but will flower only when exposed to partial or full sun. It grows best in a warm, sheltered spot with something to climb on. A warm wall or pergola is suitable. Chinese wisteria needs to be trimmed and pruned continuously. Cover the basal parts with leaves or hay during the first winter for extra insulation. The variety ‘Prolific’ has a weaker growth and can be grown in container, but it still needs a firm hand to prune it. Keep the container in a sheltered place during winter. Protect it from the worst cold. Propagation is by seeds, cuttings or layers, alternative by inoculation. When grown from seed it takes a very long time before it sets the first flower. So patience is needed though the foliage is a beauty itself. It is a bliss when the first flower burst into bloom.

Wordless – Wisteria

Some plants and flowers need no words. Just one look and you are captured…

Wisteria sinensis fruit. W as in Wisteria. Blogging from A to Z April (2015) Challenge | My Green Nook

Wisteria sinensis fruit. Photo: 乌拉跨氪 ©

Wisteria sinensis tree. W as in Wisteria. Blogging from A to Z April (2015) Challenge | My Green Nook

Wisteria tree. Photo: Empower Network

© The photos are licensed by Creative Commons and some rights are reserved. License Attribution 2.0

13 thoughts on “W as in Wisteria

    • I wish I could have provided you with more plants to grow in New Zealand… I am sorry for that but I hope you liked anyway. The plants I have shown is all suitable for the part of Sweden where I live. And other areas with the same conditions and climate…


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