Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Wisteria is one of those spring flowers
that seems to suddenly appear from nowhere.
I was aware that there was such a thing as a wisteria vine,
but I had never seen one until I moved to the Shire.
The first one I saw was in an old greenhouse at the Norfolk Botanical Garden.
The trunk had grown thick and sturdy and the vine wandered over and above our heads.
It was a wonderful moment of discovery.

photo  from google image, fineartamerica.com

According to wikipedia.org, the wisteria 
is native to the Eastern U.S. and Asia.
In the Shire the wisteria drapes itself across the thickets of trees and underbrush
that grow along the roadways, creating walls of purple.
This next photo shows the color of most wisteria along the highways.
Generally the indigenous vine (a member of the pea family)
has a pale violet blossom, like this:

photo, morguefile.com

Its preference for the interstates and byways is part of the magic of wisteria.
One moment, the vine is far from our memories, nearly invisible;
the next, the purple wisteria comes cascading down trees, posts, and arbors--
any place that will support their vining habit.
In this photo, a wisteria vine has encircled the balusters in a deck railing:

photo, morguefile.com

This photo shows wisteria at its best.
I love its purplish-blue color, similar to tanzanite:

photo, wikipedia.org

Wisteria--it's a lovely,
and sometimes unexpected, sign of spring.

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