Sunday, January 18, 2009


Chinese Wisteria, Wisteria sinensis, is a hardy woody vine. It's probably best known for its lovely lavender flowers. Here we see a good crop of seed pods about 6 to 8 inches long. The picture may not do justice to the velvety smooth furry surface of the pods. I must grab a few for a closer study.

Wisteria can be trained as a hedge, as I have in my yard. In its wilder state, it's likely to actually strangle a tree with its massive girdling vines--reminding me of a boa constrictor strangling its prey. Last year I released a tree from one such attacker.

This identification took a bit of sleuthing. American Wisteria has smooth pods. Japanese flowers open progressively and Chinese open all at once. I seem to remember flowers fully in bloom so I think what we have here is the Chinese Wisteria. Once again, The Shrub Identification Book comes in handy!

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