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Wisteria frutescens (L.) Poir.

Modern name

Wisteria frutescens (L.) Poir.


Glycine frutescens L.

A deciduous climber, spreading 30 to 40 ft from its base, and enveloping trees and shrubs in its wild state; young shoots yellowish. Leaves pinnate, 7 to 12 in. long, with four and a half to seven and a half pairs of leaflets of nearly uniform size, ovate, 112 to 212 in. long, up to 118 in. wide, slightly downy only when young. Racemes terminal on the shoots of the year, very downy, 4 to 6 in. long, the shorter ones erect. Flowers much crowded, fragrant, each about 34 in. long, pale lilac-purple, with a yellow spot; calyx slenderly bell-shaped, 14 in. long, downy, with five short triangular teeth, and like the flower-stalk, downy. Pods glabrous, much more cylindrical and swollen where the seeds are fixed, than in the Asiatic species. Seeds also rounder. Bot. Mag., t. 2103.

Native of the southern USA as far west as Texas; introduced in 1724. It is not so strong a grower as W. sinensis or W. floribunda, nor does it ever produce so fine a display. It blooms from the latter half of June until the end of August.

cv. ‘Nivea’. – Flowers white (W. frutescens nivea Lescuyer; W. frut. alba T. Moore). In cultivation in Europe by 1854.

W. macrostachys (Torr. & Gr.) Robins. & Fern. W. frutescens var. macrostachys Torr. & Gr.; Glycine frutescens var. magnifica Herincq; W. frut. magnifica André. – In habit, foliage and flower characters this is very like the preceding, but is a handsomer plant and differs in the following respects: Leaflets somewhat larger; racemes 8 to 12 in. or even more long, with up to ninety flowers on each; calyx teeth longer in proportion to the tube; flower-stalk and calyx very glandular as well as hairy. Well worthy of cultivation. Native of the southern USA, extending north in the Mississippi basin to southern Illinois.



Other species in the genus