Wisteria Blue Moon
Wisteria macrostachya, sometimes commonly called Kentucky wisteria, is a deciduous vine that is native to the southcentral U.S., ranging from Louisiana and Texas north to Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri and Oklahoma. In Missouri it is primarily found in the southeastern Bootheel region in low swampy woods and along the borders of swamps, bayous and low streams (Steyermark). It is very similar in appearance to Wisteria frutescens, American wisteria, and was once designated as W. frutescens var. macrostachya, but is noted by some as having a longer inflorescence. It is a less aggressive grower than some of the other wisterias, but is well noted for its excellent winter hardiness and ability to produce flowers in USDA Zones 3-4. It grows to 15-25’ and features 6-12” long racemes of fragrant, pea-like, blue flowers that bloom in June. Flowers bloom somewhat simultaneously on the racemes thus producing a dramatic floral display. Flowers give way to pendant, velvety, bean-like seed pods (4-5” long) which ripen in autumn and may persist into winter. Stems twine counterclockwise and are clad with compound, odd-pinnate, deep green leaves (each leaf typically with 9 ovate leaflets). Over time, the stems of this vine become twisted and trunk-like. Genus name honors Caspar Wistar (1761-1818), professor of anatomy at the University of Pennsylvania. ‘Blue Moon’ may bloom up to three times in a growing season once established, producing beautiful, foot-long racemes of fragrant, pea-like lavender-blue flowers.