The Chinese wisteria (Wisteria sinensis alba), is a deciduous vine that grows vigorously to 25’ or more and features 6-12” long white violet, or blue flower clusters or racemes which bloom in April-May when the foliage is just beginning to expand. Flowers give way to pendant, velvety, bean-like seed pods (4-6” long) which ripen in autumn and may persist hanging from the vines into winter. It has compound leaves (each leaf typically with 7-13 leaflets). Over time, the stems of this vine become twisted, trunk-like and massive. The Chinese Wisteria was brought from China to Britain in 1816 from where it spread to mainland Europe and North America. The vine is named after Caspar Wistar (1761-1818), professor of anatomy at the University of Pennsylvania. All parts of the plant contain a glycoside wisterin that if ingested may cause vomiting, stomach pains, and diarrhea. It has become an invasive species in some areas of the United States where the climate closely matches that of China.