Hermaphroditically Sealed

There was a vine in the middle of our fence.
The prettiest vine, it was lush and green.
Well, the vine on the fence
And the green leaves grew all around and around.
Without a bloom to be found.

Now that you have the tune stuck in your head, about that vine....

It's supposedly a wisteria. It's been growing on our front fence since before we bought the house eighteen years ago. In the summer, it gets so full of leaves that it blocks our view of the sidewalk and the street. Which, depending on my mood and my love-hate relationship with the city, ain't a bad thing.

But in all the years that we've lived here, that wisteria has only bloomed once. And then with only four blossoms. I tried everything - fertilizing it, not fertilizing it, cutting it back, not cutting it at all, just giving it a little shaping. The year it bloomed was a fluke. I didn't do anything to it that year. In fact, I'd given up on ever having blossoms on the vine. That attitude hasn't had the same effect twice.

As my eldest daughter and I were walking near our church yesterday, we walked under a purple canopy of wisteria blossoms on one of the oldest blocks in town near the river. After pointing out what wisteria blossoms look like, she commented that perhaps ours is a male vine. I rebutted that it has bloomed once so it can't be a male, maybe it's androgynous. To which she corrected me. "No, Mom, our wisteria is a hermaphrodite."

Everyone now...

And the green leaves grew all around and around,
And the green leaves grew all around.


  1. Sadly I can offer no succor as I have the blackest of thumbs.

  2. You might want to see if you have only one plant that has grown rather large. I think that you need a male and female of the species to get such vigorous flowering growth. I could be wrong.

  3. How exactly does one tell the gender of a wisteria plant? Does the male plant have a distinguishing extra branch?