This beautiful Spring-flowering climber is so well known as hardly to require any description. The genus contains about five species. Wistaria speciosa is a native of North America and blooms a month later than Wistaria sinensis, a native of China, which is the species most grown. Wistaria Japonica and Wistaria multijuga (the former bearing white flowers and the latter lilac flowers with purple wings) are natives of Japan. These again have varieties which bear double flowers.
The Wistaria delights in a light and rich soil, and, if given this, will produce branches sometimes a hundred feet in length on each side of the main stem, giving gorgeous masses of bloom in the early Spring.
The Wistaria forns great bundles of small growths which often become matted under the eaves of buildings or about the stems of old trees. Where they grow freely, these matted growths should, in Winter, or before growth commences in early Spring, be carefully disentangled and all of the weaker growths should be pruned back to a strong spur or bud, the remaining branches being laid in and fastened by ties to the wall or other support, not closer together, however, than twelve inches.
Propagation of the Wistaria is effected most easily by seeds sown during early Spring, one-half of an inch deep, in a warm frame or greenhouse, or by layering in June.