Thursday, 13 September 2012

Wisteria; all in purple;

Short and sweet;

Photos from my garden 9/September 2012

Wisteria belongs to a genus of flowering plants in the pea family, Fabaceae.
 Some species are popular ornamental plants. 

Wisteria vines climb by twining their stems either clockwise or counter-clockwise round any available support. They can climb as high as 20 m above the ground and spread out 10 m laterally. 

Carpenter bees like purple coloured flowers.  You can see the metallic blue/green colour of the Peacock Carpenter bee,  Xylocopa bombylans. 

Peacock Carpenter bee; Xylocopa bombylans;  (Wikipedia)

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.
Marcus Tullius Cicero

Wisteria, especially Wisteria sinensis, is very hardy and fast-growing. It can grow in fairly poor-quality soils, but prefers fertile, moist, well-drained soil. They thrive in full sun. Wisteria can be propagated via hardwood cutting, softwood cuttings, or seed. However, specimens grown from seed can take decades to bloom; for this reason, gardeners usually grow plants that have been started from rooted cuttings or grafted cultivars known to flower well.

To my delight I saw two of the giant Carpenter bees. One can see just the wings and a little of its body hanging on to a wisteria flower.

Carpenter bee Xylocopa aruana

Picture  from

Carpenter Bee, Xylocopa aruana, which we identified on the Insects and Spiders of Brisbane website, which indicates:  “Body length 25mm  They are very large and hairy bees, with black abdomen and yellow thorax.   Theirs wings are dark brown in colour. They are solitary, i.e., living on its     own. They feed on pollen. Females make     tunnel and lay eggs in decaying wood, including dry flower sticks of grass-trees Xanthorrhoea .”

 Another reason for failure to bloom can be excessive fertilizer (particularly nitrogen). Wisteria has nitrogen fixing capability (provided by Rhizobia bacteria in root nodules), and thus mature plants may benefit from added potassium and phosphate, but not nitrogen. 

Wisteria can grow into a mound when unsupported, but is at its best when allowed to clamber up a tree, pergola, wall, or other supporting structure. Whatever the case, the support must be very sturdy, because mature Wisteria can become immensely strong with heavy wrist-thick trunks and stems. 

These will certainly rend latticework, crush thin wooden posts, and can even strangle large trees. Wisteria allowed to grow on houses can cause damage to gutters, downspouts, and similar structures. Its pendulous racemes are best viewed from below.

Wisteria flowers develop in buds near the base of the previous year's growth, so pruning back side shoots to the basal few buds in early spring can enhance the visibility of the flowers. If it is desired to control the size of the plant, the side shoots can be shortened to between 20 and 40 cm long in mid summer, and back to 10 to 20 cm in autumn. Some excerpts from wikipedia

 I like to achieve a natural look in my garden. Sometimes the garden 
 looks scruffy, sometimes like a piece of Eden, but it never looks manicured.Titania

My neighbour asked  to borrow my lawnmower. Of course,  as  long as  it  is not taken out of my garden.

Believe it or not:

Gardens are not made by singing
 'Oh, how beautiful, and sitting in the shade;
Rudyard Kipling


  1. lovely...I have one on the border of its growing capacity 9 it had one bloom this year hahaha....I envy yours

    1. Sharon,thank you for visiting. Chinese W. grows in zones 5-8; Japanese W grows in zones 4-9. I have zone 11 and it does pretty good. A Wisteria needs at least 6 h full sun. Min grows in full sun. Do you think yours is getting enough sun?Hope for you next year will be a bumper year!

  2. I hope ours gets half as big and beautiful one day.

    1. Missy, in general they are quite quick growers. You might not have to wait to long.

  3. Titania

    Beautifull flowers, exciting smell!

    In Portugal we call them "glicĂ­nias".

    Good luck,

    1. Antonio; thank you and good to hear from you; say hello to beautiful Portugal.

  4. i love the colour and shape of Wisteria. I would love one but I don't have anywhere to grow it. Unless I got energetic and pulled out the not so pretty plant that I have growing against the fence. I don't have many places with full sun either as the yard is full of native trees. Well I have all I want, a library and a garden. You find and write the best quotes.

  5. Diane; a library,a garden and I might add a camera and a PC and.... anyway happy days. Yes, you have got it all!