Wisteria and the mysterious plants of London

Written by Doug Oster on .

blog london 0520 wisteria1This old wisteria plant crawls across a building in the London borough of Kensington. Photos by Doug Oster

Last week the Post-Gazette had a story on wisterias and I had a photo of a 65 foot tall plant from Ohio Township.

As impressive as that was, wisteria blooming along the streets in busiest parts of London is amazing.

blog london 0520 wisteria2Wisteria is everywhere in London. This plant was growing up a building on a side street downtown near Harrod's.

It's used on the fronts of buildings and most are painted white, setting off the purple blooms beautifully. I walked for miles through London and saw ancient vines twining around trees, gutters and porch columns.

One of the cool things about visiting a country obsessed with gardening like England is seeing new plants. Usually most gardeners can get close identifying a variety, but I found three which stumped me.

The first two were photographed at the Victoria and Albert Museum in the John Madejski Garden.

I was was drawn to the purple blooms of a plant which looks kind of like a mum, but with purple stems and it's four feet tall. The bees loved the flowers. Have you seen it before.

The other is an upright, spike like bloom nearly six feet tall with small, pretty blue flowers. It resembles a verbascum.

The last flower I found on the walk back to the hotel. Maybe a camelia?

Take a look at the photos below and see if they look familiar and let me know what you think they are in the comments section at the bottom of the blog.

I'm finally on London time after a good night's sleep and can't wait to visit the 100th anniversary of the Chelsea Flower Show tomorrow. The group I've brought have special access on members day. I'll post lots of photos tomorrow.

blog overall mystery plantDo you know what this plant is?


blog another mystery plant 0520I would love to know what this plant is. It's nearly six feet tall and filled with blossoms.

blog white blooms 0520These beautiful white blooms covered a plant along the sidewalk as I headed back to the hotel in London. I've never seen it before.

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