I figured coming back with some new blooms of Spring would be appropriate since the first day of Spring was on the 20th of March.
At first glance I thought they were lilacs but after little research I found that they go by many names, but around my neck of the woods, they’re simply “Purple Wisteria”. And they are simply gorgeous!
Here’s what I found…..
Western plant explorers brought Chinese Wisteria seeds to the USA strictly for trade purposes around 1816. Botanist & Zoologist Thomas Nuttall said that he named the genus Wisteria in memory of Dr. Caspar Wistar (1761-1818) who was an American Physician & Anatomist. Japanese Wisteria followed later, it was introduced into to the USA in 1830.
There are several ways to tell the two main species of Wisteria apart, but the most significant and noticeable difference is; the Chinese version’s vines typically spiral clockwise and the Japanese vines typically spiral counterclockwise. Due to the Wisteria’s hardiness they tend to escape cultivation and are considered an “invasive species”, because if allowed they will over take anything in their way.
There are a total of Ten Wisteria species and are native to China, Japan, and Korea. The blooms come in a variety of colors, such as; Blue, Pink, Violet (Purple), “Texas White” (White), with the most popular being lavender-blue. The fragrance has been to comapared to that of grapes and they’re a part of the Pea family. Although, the flowers smell like food and are part of the Pea family, they’re not to be eaten and can be extremely poisonous to humans and animals, if consumed in large amounts.
The largest Wisteria recognized by the Guinness book of world records is located in the Southern California town of Sierra Madre. The land marker outside of the enormous plant states this; “World’s Largest Blossoming Plant: This is the world famous Wisteria vine, one of the 7 Horticultural wonders of the world, was planted in 1894, from a one gallon pot, listed as the “World’s largest blossoming plant” by the “Guinness Book of World Records”, it covers nearly one acre, weighs over 250 tons and has over 1,500,000 blossoms during its 5 week blossoming period.”
Click the link below to find out more information about the Guinness Book of world Records Sierra Madre, California Wisteria and the amazing Wisteria Festival.