Botanical name: Wisteria sinensis Family: Fabaceae (pea family)
Chinese Wisteria is a really beautiful twining deciduous vine. In springtime it leafs out and flowers with large, drooping, grapelike clusters of purple-blue, fragrant flowers. This tough woody vine often climbs high into tree canopy when grown in mild winter climates. It is stunning to see a wisteria draped from the limbs of a tall pine when in full bloom, a scene made more memorable by the blossoms' appealing fragrance. Leaves are compound and consist of 7 to 13 leaflets to about 3 in in length. The flowers are white, violet, or blue, produced on 6-10 inches long racemes in spring, usually reaching their peak in April-May. The flowers are followed by attractive velvety pods 6 in in length. In winter, Chinese Wisteria is a tangled mass of naked woody stems that may or may not be picturesque depending on culture and circumstance. Chinese wisteria is usually very long lived and trunks can become quite large and attractively gnarly with age. The genus was named after Dr. Caspar Wistar (1761-1818), a professor of anatomy at the University of Pennsylvania. Chinese or sweet wisteria is native to China. Flowering: April-May.
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