Wisteria Seed Pods

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Wisterias are beautiful flowering plants but Peter Valder noted that some people seem surprised to see this plant with seed pods. Peter Valder recently looked at these plants when he visited some Mt Wilson gardens.

Ornamental pods

Wisteria is a legume, like peas and beans, and produces seed pods after flowering. Chinese wisteria (Wisteria sinensis) rarely produces pods whereas the Japanese wisteria (Wisteria floribunda) produces clusters of pods which are long and elongated, somewhat like a bean pod, and are numerous. The Japanese wisteria also has another bonus – the foliage turns a spectacular butter-yellow colour in autumn.

Pruning

If you are tired of the pods and want to tidy the wisteria up before its spring flowering, remove them using a pair of secateurs.

Tip: don’t cut the stems back too far as there may be some buds which can produce flowers next spring. Always leave several centimetres at the top.

Grow your own

If you want to try your hand at growing your own wisterias from seed, collect the pods and let them dry. The seeds normally explode from pods so collect the pods after the leaves fall in autumn and place them onto a tray to dry. Twist the pods open and plant the seeds 2cm (nearly 1″) deep in freely draining mix.

Note: Plants raised from seed may not be identical to the parents.

Further reading

Wisterias: A Comprehensive Guide by Peter Valder (Florilegium, 1995). ISBN 0-646-22049-7. Rrp $45.