Great selection of enchanting climbing Wisteria trees. The scented flowers create long racemes of flowing colour that moves beautifully in the breeze. Some racemes have been known to grow to 1 metre in length! Plant these wonderful climbers along sunny walls or over garden pergolas for the best effect.
All our Wisteria are grafted, helping them to flower considerably earlier and more reliably than other forms (grown from cuttings etc). It is this abundance of fragrant summer flowers hanging down in pendants, known as racemes, that make Wisteria so popular. The racemes range in colour from whites and soft pinks to cerise and deep purple.
Wisteria are woody climbing trees that can be trained along sunny walls, arches or pergolas to create wonderful twisted architectural forms from which the flowers hang down dramatically. They all require strong support, but some varieties, such as W. floribunda 'Multijuga' and W. sinensis 'Prematura', can also be trained as a tree. To do this, plant the Wisteria with a stake and encourage the leader stem straight up the stake. The following February, remove the tip of the stem at the desired trunk height.
Full sun is key for Wisteria plants to thrive and so the aforementioned sunny wall or pergola where the flowers can hang down is ideal. Wisteria are easy to grow and tolerant of poor soils although they do prefer a moist, well-drained site. Wisteria has nitrogen fixing properties and should not be treated with nitrogen based fertilisers. Instead, use a phosphate or potassium based fertiliser.
Wisteria is native to eastern U.S, China, Korea and Japan. It has been bred in Japan and China for over 2000 years and was first introduced to the U.S in the 1830s. An easy way to distinguish between Chinese and Japanese Wisteria is by the direction of their twining vines. Chinese Wisteria, W. sinsensis, twines clockwise whereas Japanese Wisteria, W. floribunda, twines counter clockwise.
There is some controversy surrounding the origin of the name Wisteria (also spelt wistaria or wysteria). Botanist Thomas Nuttall states he named it after Dr C Wistar and that the difference in spelling is due to euphony (sound pleasantness). However, other sources state it is named after Nuttall’s friend C.J Wister.
In the UK during Victorian times, Wisteria was thought to represent a warning not to become obsessed, in reference to the way Wisteria can choke other trees. In Buddhism, Wisteria symbolises humility and reflection. In the Japanese tale ‘The Wisteria Maiden’ a young woman waits for her lover underneath a wisteria tree. The long living plant symbolises the girl’s endurance during heartbreak. The Kawachia Fuji Gardens, just outside of Tokyo in Japan, boasts over 150 wisteria plants with a tunnel showcasing a variety of these flowering climbers trained over a long, snaking archway. The Fuji Matsuri Wisteria festival is held here every April.
Some mature Wisteria varieties can grow as tall as 20m, with several particularly fine examples achieving worldwide fame. The largest Wisteria today is in California and measures 1 acre in size and weighs 250 tonnes! The largest one in the UK can be found in Wickham Place Farm in Essex. Trained along a wall it stretches for over 75 metres! One of the oldest wisterias in the UK is situated in Wrest Park, Bedfordshire and is thought to be approximately 150 years old.