The Tree Wisteria is certainly one of the most spectacular of our indigenous trees when in flower, it has the splendour of the jacaranda, which unfortunately is proving to be an invader species in parts of South Africa. Given time and effort this tree could replace the jacaranda trees from Argentina and carpet Pretoria streets with indigenous purple blooms instead. This decorative, small to medium-sized tree is deciduous, dropping its leaves only for a short period in early spring. The tree is normally multi-stemmed, but it can be pruned to form a single stem. The bark of the stem is brownish grey, rough and deeply fissured. Leaves, which are spirally arranged, are suspended from drooping branches. The drooping, blue-mauve, fragrant, pea-like flowers hang from the branches in bunches, often covering the whole tree. Flowering time is from August to January (spring and early summer). Flowers are followed by papery, brown fruit pods, that hang from the branches in clusters, and never split to release their seeds. Bolusanthus honours Harry Bolus (1834-1911), who was a South African botanist and founder of the Cape Town Bolus Herbarium, speciosus means beautiful or showy in Latin. The wood, which is highly sought after by carpenters, makes excellent furniture. It works well on a lathe, turning out beautiful lampshades and other articles. The straight growing stems are very hard, termite resistant and used for fencing posts. The roots are used medicinally to alleviate stomach problems and the inner bark used to treat abdominal cramps. It also has excellent potential as a tree for landscaping and growing in the home garden. It is an ideal tree to grace a medium to small garden, as it never grows too big. It can be grown in a container and looks spectacular on any sunny patio. As mentioned earlier, the tree wisteria makes a beautiful street tree with its non-invasive root system. To propagate place the seeds in hot water and soak overnight. Sow the seeds in containers filled with river sand, covering lightly with finer sand. Remember that the sowing depth should not be deeper than the diameter of the seed. The seeds germinate quickly and can be transplanted after the second leaf has emerged. A good soil mixture would be equal parts of river sand, loam and compost. With good care this tree can grow up to 800 mm per year. Bolusanthus speciosus can withstand moderate frost, but will need protection for the first few years. It can also survive periods of drought.