Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Wisteria frutescens (L.) Poir.

Fully-hardy tall climber with leaves composed of up to 17 leaflets, and racemes, to 15cm long, of fragrant, pale lilac-purple flowers with a yellow spot, in summer.  [RHSD, Hilliers’, Hortus].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘A very ornamental shrub, tolerably hardy, but does not flower very readily except in favourable situations.  There used to be a very fine plant trained up against the house at Messrs. Loddiges and Sons at Hackney, which, in some years, bore a profusion of flowers.  Our drawing was taken from a specimen communicated in June last by Thomas Wildman, Esq. late of Layton.  Grows naturally in the swamps of Virginia, Carolina, and the Illinois.  Introduced in 1724 by Mr. Mark Catesby.’  [BM t.2103/1819].  The variety magnifica, with paler flowers, was figured in Flore des Serres.  [FS f.1151/1856].

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1843, 1845 and 1850 catalogues.  Plants were presented to the Sydney Botanic Garden on October 24th 1846.


Published Dec 23, 2009 - 12:53 PM | Last updated Jul 21, 2010 - 02:38 PM

Figured are pinnate leaves and upright raceme of lilac and purple flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.2103, 1819.

Wisteria frutescens (L.) Poir. | BM t.2103/1819 | BHL

Family Fabaceae
Region of origin

South east USA

  • Glycine frutescens L.
  • Wisteria speciosa Nutt. 
Common Name

Carolina kidney bean, American wisteria

Name in the Camden Park Record

Glycine frutescens - Carolina Kidney-bean

Confidence level high