April 30th – Wisteria

Today’s picture is of a wisteria that I walk by most days whilst taking the dogs out. It is looking very beautiful at the moment. I’m not much of a botanist, so much of the post has been found by doing some online searches.

Wisteria is a woody vine and is part of the Legume family which includes peas, beans, lentils and clover). It can reach 65 feet in height and 32 feet in width. It has smooth or hairy, grey, brown or reddish coloured stem which twines around nearby trees, shrubs and various man-made structures.

There are 2 main types of Wisteria (10 in total). If it twines its stems clockwise (seen from above), it’s probably a Japanese Wisteria (W. floribunda). The Chinese Wisteria (W. sinensis) however, twines counterclockwise – and this is the most common one in the UK.

Although hardy and fast-growing, Wisteria grown from seed can take decades to bloom. Gardeners are therefore most likely to buy and grow plants from root cuttings or grafted cultivars.

The seed of all members of this genus is poisonous. The bark contains a glycoside and a resin that are both poisonous. The seed and seedpod contains a resin and a glycoside called wisterin. They have caused poisoning in children of many countries, producing mild to severe gastro-enteritis.

I have learnt a few things about this plant.

Published by taumataman

Slightly mad, with a love of nature and photography.

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