The Beauty of Modesto Wisteria: A Feast for the Senses…

The beautiful wisteria plant, fragrant and visually stunning, grows in Modesto, California, and on my recent visit there, I found a spectacular trellis with an enormous vine.

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Wisteria trellis with dripping wisteria.

Wisteria is notable not only for its attractive, fragrant flowers, but also for its vigorous growth. The vine may grow 10 feet or more in one year, and can easily overwhelm nearby plants and structures. Heavy annual pruning is necessary to keep it in bounds. The vines become large and woody with age and need sturdy support. Flower colors include blue, red, lavender, and white, depending on the variety.

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Wisteria vines climb by twining their stems either clockwise or counterclockwise round any available support. They can climb as high as 20m above the ground and spread out 10m laterally. The world’s largest known Wisteria vine is in Sierra Madre, California, located not far from Los Angeles. This vine measures more than 1 acre (0.40 ha) in size and weighs over 250 tons. Planted in 1894, it is of the Chinese lavender variety.

But, Modesto, California has many beautiful wisteria vines growing, including a 45 year old vine at my parents home.

My mom, author, retired newspaper columnist, and poet, VJ Vogelzang, has written a lovely poem about her vine, which she reads to us.


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