This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V20", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
The fact that Wtstaria sinensis, when supported, that is, grown as a climber - if I understand the phraseology - is seedless; while the"tree" or self-supporting plant bears fruit abundantly. This, which Mr. Meehan alludes to in his paper "On the Laws Governing the Production of Seed in Wistara sinensis, (see Gardener's Monthly, page 152), is hardly of very general application. The first time I ever saw Wistaria in fruit was two years ago, when I saw a plant well covered with pods running over the porch of a house in New Jersey. In this latitude, (Boston), the Wistaria rarely fruits, but last year was exceptional. Three standards of "Tree Wistaria" came under my notice - two bore no fruit, and the third, although a very large plant, had then a dozen, while two supported plants in the same neighborhood were loaded with pods.
[Newspaper abstracts seldom do more than let the reader know that a paper of the nature indicated has been offered. The paragraph we gave, was just as it appeared in our contemporary, and as mere news. The Wistaria fact was merely given to illustrate the different effects of vegpta-tive from reproductive force; and we fancy, if our correspondent gets an opportunity to read the whole article, he will not find much to object to. In relation to the Wistaria itself and its seeding, we are not sure just now that the original paper says the Wistaria never produces seeds except as a tree, any more that it alwa s seeds when grown on a tree; for we certainly know of tree Wistarias which do not seed sometimes. But the words, if employed at all, are in a general sense. The principles sought to be illustrated in the paper, will show that there cannot be this exact dividing line, for it will be seen that it is not a question of support, or non-support, but of exhausted vegetative force that governs seed production.
It may, and no doubt often does happen, that this exhaustion will Occur as well or better on some vines which have run over trellises than in the self-supporting case; and when this occurs Mr. Meehan's paper will show the plant ought to be correspondingly more productive. - Ed. G. M].