This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol2", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
High-climbing woody vines, with odd-pinnate leaves, and showy blue, lilac or purplish flowers in large terminal racemes. Calyx somewhat 2-lipped, the 2 upper teeth slightly shorter than the 3 lower. Standard large, reflexed, clawed, with 2 small appendages at the base of the blade; wings oblong, falcate, auriculate at the base; keel incurved, obtuse. Stamens dia-delphous; anthers all alike. Ovary stalked; ovules ∞. Pod elongated, torulose, 2-valved, coriaceous, not septate between the seeds. [Named for Kraunh.]
Five known species, the following of southeastern North America, the others Asiatic, the first of ours typical.
Racemes 2'-4' long: calyx-teeth shorter than the tube.
Racemes 8'-12' long; calyx-teeth nearly or about as long as the tube, or the lower one longer.
Glycine frutescens L. Sp. Pl. 753. 1753. Wisteria speciosa Nutt. Gen. 2: 116. 1818. Wisteria frutescens Poir. in Lam. 111. 3: 674. 1823. Krauhnia frutescens Greene, Pittonia 2: 175. 1891. Bradleia frutescens Britton, Man. 549. 1901.
Climbing over trees and bushes to a length of 30°-40° or more, forming a stem several inches in diameter. Leaves petioled; rachis and short stalks of the leaflets often pubescent; leaflets 9-15, ovate or ovate-lanceolate, somewhat acuminate but blunt at the apex, rounded at the base, entire, l'-2' long, glabrous and dark-green above, pale and sometimes slightly pubescent beneath; racemes dense, 2'-7' long; pedicels 2'-3" long; calyx finely pubescent, sometimes with club-shaped glands; corolla lilac-purple, 6"-9' long; auricles of the wings one short and one slender; pod linear, 2'-3' long.
In low grounds, Virginia to Florida, Arkansas and Texas. Kidney-bean tree. Virgin's-bower. April-June.
Wistaria frutescens var. macrostachys T. & G. Fl. N. A. 1:
283. 1838. Wistaria macrostachys Nutt.; T. & G. Fl. N. A. 1: 283.
As synonym. 1838. K. macrostachys Small, Bull. Torr. Club 25: 134. 1898.
A vine, sometimes 20°-25° long. Stem becoming 1 1/4' thick, branching; leaves 4'-8' long; leaflets usually 9, ovate to elliptic-lanceolate, 1'-23/4' long, acuminate, or acute, rounded or cordate at the base; racemes 8'-12' long, loosely-flowered, drooping; rachis and pedicels densely hirsute and glandular, with club-shaped glands; calyx pubescent like the pedicels, the tube campanulate, the segments lanceolate, lateral ones about as long as the tube, lower one longer; corolla lilac-purple or light blue; standard with blade 7" broad, decurrent on the claw; pods 2'-4' long, constricted between the black lustrous seeds.