Wisteria (紫藤) is a genus of flowering plant in the pea family, Fabaceae, that includes ten species of woody climbing vines native to the China, Korea, Japan and Eastern United States. Some species are popular ornamental plants.
Wisteria vines climb by twining their stems round any available support. They can climb as high as 20 m above the ground and spread out 10 m laterally.
The leaves are alternate, 15 to 35 cm long, pinnate, with 9 to 19 leaflets. The flowers are produced in pendulous racemes 10 to 80 cm, and are lilac, purple, pink or white. Flowering is in Spring (just before or as the leaves appear).
There are 10 stamens, 9 of them arranged in a stamen tube and one stamen free. The stamens surround the pistil – the female part.
The flowers of some species are fragrant, most notably Chinese Wisteria. The seeds are produced in pods.
Wisteria has nitrogen fixing capability (provided by Rhizobia bacteria in root nodules).
More photographs of the beautiful Wisteria
Some species of Wisteria possesses white flowers.
Please visit this website for spectacular views of the Wisteria:
http://team-yellow.com/2014/10/18/fukuokas-kawachi-fuji-gardens-features-beautiful-wisteria-tunnels/ (Fukuoka’s Kawachi Fuji Gardens features beautiful Wisteria tunnels)
Chinese paintings of Wisteria
Wisteria is loved by Chinese artists, being a popular subject for painting. The flowers are sweet and beautiful but fragile, while the climbing vines are strong and powerful. They form a pair of contrasting features complementing each other.
Japanese Drawing / Print on Wisteria
Claude Monet’s Wisteria paintings
Monet loved Japanese prints. His works might show some Japanese influence.
Chinese Poems related to Wisteria
Japanese dance related to Wisteria
Fuji Musume or ‘Wisteria Maiden 藤娘’ is a famous classical dance first performed in 1826 in Kabukiza Theater in Japan. On a clear day in May wisteria are in full bloom. Nearby is a pine tree. The heroine, a maiden with a spring of wisteria was inspired by a famous drawing called ohtsu-e. The young maiden represents a spirit of wisteria, and the pine tree is the beloved one the wisteria longs for. The dance becomes popular and performed frequently especially during the time when Wisteria blooms.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9KQxjVm_lo (Fuji Musume (Wisteria Maiden) (part 1)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqtgJ8I5yb0 (Fuji Musume (Wisteria Maiden) (part 2)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MrIc8VrDv_8 (Fuji Musume (Wisteria Maiden) (part 3)
http://zhidao.baidu.com/question/36004940.html (Chinese poems related to Wisteria)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bw1Nib65mJQ (Fuji musume 藤娘)
户辅圣 (2003) 中国画历代名家技法图典 花鳥编(上) 上海華书画出版社
Monet’s Years at Giverny: Beyond Impressionism (1978) The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Abrama ISBN 0-8109-2183-9