Tuesday, 24 April 2012 15:46

Wisteria Vines in Bloom

Wisteria VinesIt's mid-April, and the wisteria are in full bloom across parks in Japan, climbing on trees and over trellises to form ornate flowering tunnels. Hardy and fast-growing, wisteria is said to be one of Japan's most ancient flowering vines, and has been described countless times in ancient poems and literature. 

Wisteria vines climb via twining around support, they can climb as high as 60 feet above the ground, and spread out 30 feet horizontally. The world's largest known Wisteria vine is in Sierra Madre California, measuring more than 1 acre in size and weighing over 250 tons, it was planted in 1894.

The flowers vary in coloration depending on species, and bloom in different times throughout the season, with the light-pinks coming to bloom in mid-April, followed by the reds, whites, and finally yellows through May.

Certain species are more fragrant than others. Most notable and common is the Chinese Wisteria species (wisteria siniesis in white, blue, or purple). The rarer double-petaled dragon (whisteria florabunda v. yae kokuryu) is reputed to have the strongest scent, originating from Japan. On the left is a standard whisteria florabunda, the right a v. yae kokuryu (double-petaled).


Wisteria does best in fertile, moist, and well-drained soil in full sun. The plant is easily propagated via hardwood & softwood cuttings, or seeds, but seed specimens may take up to decades to bloom, and It should be noted that wisteria seeds are poisonous and should not be ingested. When attempting to bloom wisteria, avoid dosing excessive nitrogen (because wisteria has nitrogen fixing capabilities), instead focus on potassium and phosphate. 

A decent selection of wisteria grafts and seeds can be found online.  Unfortunately in many parts of the US (especially the Southeast), wisteria is considered to be an invasive species due to its ability overtake and choke out native plants. Please consult your state department of agriculture before importing any specific species. 

Questions, comments, or experience with wisteria sp. you would like to share? Discuss it here in our forums.

Read 8113 times Last modified on Tuesday, 19 June 2012 00:42
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