I was going to do wine, but the subject is vast and I suspect many other bloggers will choose this topic. So I am going with this flowering vine which some regard as a weed, because it grows rapidly and can choke out native plants, particularly in the southeastern US. In China and Japan, it’s considered ornamental, and I personally think it’s beautiful.
The vines of Wisteria, which is a member of the pea family, climb by twining around any available support. The pendulous clusters of Wisteria flowers, called racemes, can be purple, violet, pink or white, and have a very mild fragrance; the most fragrant species is Chinese. The vines can climb as high as 20 m above the ground and spread out 10 m laterally. The world’s largest known Wisteria vine is of the Chinese lavender variety. It was planted in Sierra Madre, California, in 1894 and measures more than 1 acre in size and weighs 250 tons.
Purple Wisteria used to cover the back of the old house in which I grew up, and I remember sitting on the back porch, listening to baseball games on the radio and the sound of the bees busying themselves with what the wisteria had to offer. With the sheer amount of wisteria blossoms on our house, you could definitely smell their sweetness, so Wisteria definitely holds some nostalgia for me.