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Wisteria sinensis

Wisteria sinensis
Chinese wisteria

Common name Chinese wisteria
Family fabaceae
Life cycle perennial (Z5-9)
Flowers violet-blue (May-June)
Size 10-25 ft
Light sun

Deciduous woody vine known for its stranglehold on anything it uses as a support – and of course for its dramatic 6-12" long racemes of pea flowers. We bought our specimen in the early days of our garden's development. It lived in a few places from which it had to be transplanted for various reasons, and finally made it to the place where it lives now, at the base of a nectarine tree in our orchard area. And it just sat there for years, doing hardly anything – not climbing much, and certainly not blooming. So it took me by surprise to see, all of a sudden in the middle of June, nearly ten years later, a few flowers high up in that nectarine tree. The vine had finally made its way up to a place where it could bask in the sunshine. It was certainly not a stunner, but in the two years since, it has started to take on that classic wisteria look, and will likely continue to improve. The nectarine is hardly a favorite tree (it gets brown rot every year, so we've never gotten fruit), so I'm not too concerned over the effects of the wisteria on the tree. So I'll watch how the two play together – and hope for even more impressive blooms in years to come.

Wisteria sinensis
Climbing the nectarine

We left this plant behind in our Pennsylvania garden (and wish it well); we don't grow it in Houston.

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