It was a frightfully hot afternoon, and I had little anticipation of encountering anything wonderful or mysterious on my walk. I felt the pressure of a frantic day, having spent hours before my walk preparing a talk for Monday, and facing the prospect of several hours afterward tutoring online. Still, I was surprised to find a new bloom — or, rather, a new bloom for July. The Chinese wisteria (Wisteria sinensis) partway down Piney Woods Church Road was flowering again. It is the third set of blossoms on that particular wisteria for this year. Like last time, though, there was only a single raceme of blossoms — the rest of the plant was merely leaves and seedpods. Still, I am impressed with the determination of this invasive flower. Like human beings, Chinese wisteria is a weed species. Like us, it seems capable of being fertile and having sex (in its case, the floral variety) many times in one year. It is a trait I might expect of a hybrid cultivar purchased from a greenhouse, but not from a vine growing in the wild along the roadside.
Still, the flower is so delicate, so pretty, with such cloyingly sweet perfume, that I am nearly seduced by its charms, and almost willing to forgive its flowering out of season….