In the courtyard of Chateau Maidment grows a wisteria. It is a rather spindly specimen, but one which has continued to grow, be pruned and cared for. It has, however, in the four and half years that I have lived here, steadfastly refused to flower. This year it has relented and produced a very few sprays of flowers.
There is a disagreement about the name of the plant, and even its proper spelling. Some say that it was named in honour of Caspar Wistar, a noted USA physician and anatomist, and that the name should be Wistaria. Others say that the name is in honour of Charles Jones Wister Snr., who lived in the marvellously named Grumblethorpe, a house in Germantown, Philadelphia. The spelling Wisteria is the one enshrined in the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature. I don’t know if the “Wistarians” pronounce the word [wɪˈsteəriə], but it would be shame not to call it [wɪˈstɪəriə], I think, because that would decrease the number of rhymes for hysteria.