Wisteria sinensis, commonly known as the Chinese wisteria, is a species of flowering plant in the pea family, native to China. Growing to 20 – 30 m, it is a deciduous vine. It is widely cultivated in temperate regions for its twisting stems and masses of scented flowers in spring, forming hanging racemes. It has shorter racemes than Wisteria floribunda (Japanese wisteria), but has a larger number of them. Japanese wisteria prefers moist soils and full sun and it is hardy in the ground. The plant often lives over fifty years.
Chinese wisteria is more sensitive to cold than Japanese wisteria
Wisteria floribunda – the Japanese wisteria is also a species of flowering plant in the pea family Fabaceae, native to Japan, and can grow to 9 m.
Wisteria trees have vine-like tendencies, but with thicker trunks. The trees grow vigorously and the branches climb and curve, from which the blooms will hang when they appear in the spring. The blooms are fragrant and are usually blue/ lavender or white in colour. The leaves are fairly small and pinnate in structure and green in colour.
Wisteria as bonsai
Wisterias trees will not bloom until they are at least 10-years-old. The wisteria seed pods and seed are highly toxic if eaten.
Wisteria bonsai are usually of medium or large size because the long flowers need some height to hang from. Wisterias are very well suited for bonsai but their special feature is the flowers. After flowering the trunk and branches are hidden under long leaves.
It is a frost-hardy plant when grown in the ground, but unfortunately wisteria has relatively fragile roots when it is grown in a container, so it does require winter protection.
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