Monday, April 5, 2010

White Wisteria

This may become known as the Spring When Everything Bloomed at Once. I pass a tall pine tree on my way to work that is covered in white wisteria, a vine that climbs almost to the top of the tree.

Since I've only figured out how to post one picture per blog entry, I decided on the closeup (above) because it gives a better view of the wisteria's flowers—but the picture of the whole tree with the vine climbing up it is pretty impressive, too.

Wisteria is a member of the pea family, and Wikipedia says there are about 10 species of climbing vines native to the Eastern United States and the Asian countries of China, Korea, and Japan.

I've always loved the purple wisteria, and the little plant we started from a cutting that belonged to my mother's neighbor is hanging in there but not doing well enough to warrant a photo. The white-flowered wisteria is not as common down here, so my jaw dropped about a foot when I first saw this vine on our neighborhood pine tree.

I think in one of my parallel lives, I live in an old wood frame house with a huge porch that is shaded by a thick, luxuriant growth of purple wisteria. In the hot summer afternoons after I come back from the springs, I drink limeade on the front porch and swish the bugs away with my grandmother's heart-shaped palm leaf fan.

I just found out that this vine was planted by my neighbor Bonnie's aunt. Talk about deep roots in the neighborhood! (See previous post.)

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