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Wisteria Floribunda, the Violaceous Wayfaring Wanderer

Updated on January 16, 2015
Wisteria bloom image © Jessica Barst, all rights reserved
Wisteria bloom image © Jessica Barst, all rights reserved | Source

Wisteria, the Wonderful

Wisteria is one of the most fragrant and beautiful flowering vines I can think of. It is truly a glorious time in Texas in March when these gorgeous violet flowers blossom and their sweet scent fills the air.

The amazing color of this fabulous flower inspired me to write about it and share some tips on planting, growing, and pruning wisteria vines, as well as some of the symbolism surrounding this breathtaking bloom.

This photo is one I took last spring, using my iPhone camera to capture this Luscious Lavender Lady in all her glory as she languished lasciviously in the late afternoon sun.

hanging wisteria flowers
hanging wisteria flowers | Source

The Symbolism of Wisteria

Wisteria floribunda is a well-known symbol of the beginning of spring. It is said that Wisteria induces playfulness and extends a warm welcome to visitors by greeting them with her soft perfume long before they even set eyes on her lovely bounty of cascading blooms. Her soft tendrils entwine playfully around each other, waiting for a breeze to carry her fragrance to the welcoming nose of anyone nearby.

In some cultures, the Wisteria represents a sorrowful maiden, mourning lost loves...but in the same vein represents endurance and strength to grow - and flourish - through the harshest conditions. Wisteria is an amazingly durable and voracious vine which can withstand drought, neglect, and frost, and comes back stronger and more resolute every year.

This symbolism is not lost on me, as I have known many friends become pillars of strength after weathering and persevering through a series of storms; and have personally experienced an incredible burst of growth after many a harsh season.

This beautiful plant hides her past pains elegantly, showing not a hint of trouble to anyone who gazes upon her soft violet face in the spring. Yet her secret story is not one of shame, it is one of pride. It is simply a story of life and surviving gracefully.

Wisteria Seed Pods

Wisteria Seed Pods © Jessica Barst all rights reserved
Wisteria Seed Pods © Jessica Barst all rights reserved | Source

How to Germinate Wisteria Seeds

Wisteria, the Wayfaring Wanderer

Wisteria overgrown Farm House
Wisteria overgrown Farm House | Source
Wisteria greeting card (blank inside, or add your own text to print)
Wisteria greeting card (blank inside, or add your own text to print) | Source

I lovingly refer to Wisteria as the 'wayfaring wanderer' because of its tendency to go where it pleases and explore every corner of available space, like a true vine should. If left unchecked, this incredible vine can cover a large wall at an alarming rate; they tend to grow about 10 feet a year and can reach up to 50 feet tall in twenty years!

Experts recommend pruning the wisteria vine twice a year; once in the summer after the spring bloom, and once in the winter before the next one. The following videos provide tips for properly pruning wisteria to keep it under control and make the most of its wonderful blooming season.

Wisteria Greeting Card (customizable text inside)

Wisteria Pruning Tips (Summer)

Excellent tips for summer pruning to get the best show of flowers the following spring!

Wisteria Pruning Tips (Winter)

Beautiful wisteria postage stamps - all denominations
Beautiful wisteria postage stamps - all denominations | Source

Wisteria as a Tree (or Bonsai Tree!)

I just discovered the most wonderful thing! Apparently wisteria is commonly grown as a bonsai tree. This is perfect for anyone with little or no garden space, and I am in love with this idea!

Wisteria vines can also be trained to grow as a normal sized tree, by twisting two or more young seedlings together and staking them for several years, until the 'trunk' grows strong enough to support itself. This is excellent for those without a structure to train the vine on, or those of us not wanting to grow wisteria up the side of the house!

(See video below)

Wisteria Postage Stamps

How to Grow Wisteria as a Tree

Random Fact: Some Other Words used to Describe Shades of Purple

Amethyst, Aubergine, Eggplant, Grape, Hyacinth, Heliotrope, Lavender, Lilac, Mauve, Mulberry, Orchid, Plum, Puce, Purpure, Royal, Thistle, Violaceous, Violet, Wine, Wisteria

How to Care for and Train Wisteria

Wisteria: A Comprehensive Guide

Thanks for reading! I hope you liked my collection of photos and videos with excellent tips for cultivating and caring for a wonderful wisteria vine. I'd love to hear from you!

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  • LauraHofman profile image

    Laura Hofman 4 years ago from Naperville, IL

    Wisteria is so beautiful! I love your line "this Luscious Lavender Lady in all her glory as she languished lasciviously in the late afternoon sun". Wonderfully descriptive!

  • FallenAngel 483 profile image

    FallenAngel 483 5 years ago

    These look really beautiful. I haven't grow them before and I didn't really know much about them so thanks for the information. Nice to know there is room in my garden for at least a Bonsai wisteria.

  • Steph Tietjen profile image

    Stephanie Tietjen 5 years ago from Albuquerque, New Mexico

    Beautiful photos and information. It is one of my favorite plants, keeping my back patio cool. Thanks

  • flycatcherrr profile image

    flycatcherrr 5 years ago

    I crave a wisteria vine, but it's just a teensy bit too tough in my climate for it to grow reliably. Thanks for letting me enjoy it vicariously here!

  • profile image

    Doc_Holliday 5 years ago

    Purple always comes out well in photos. I love it.

  • Rosetta Slone profile image

    Rosetta Slone 5 years ago from Under a coconut tree

    That wisteria phone cover almost makes me want to buy an iPhone :)

    It's one of my fave flowers, too.

  • profile image

    olmpal 5 years ago

    Wisteria is a beautiful plant! I love it! I have one and this year I saw for the first time it produced beans! I watched the video and will try to germinate its seeds! Thanks for the info!

  • Snowsprite profile image

    Fay 5 years ago from Cornwall, UK

    Great lens. I love Wisteria they are very beautiful.

  • JessicaBarst profile image

    Jessica Barst 5 years ago from Dallas, TX

    @Michey LM: Thanks very much & cheers for the blessings, Michey!

  • JessicaBarst profile image

    Jessica Barst 5 years ago from Dallas, TX

    @joannalynn lm: Thanks for all this great info! I used 'violaceous' referring to color only, not knowing its scientific term. I'm certainly no botanist but I like to garden and I'm trying to learn more about the plants I love! I appreciate your comment and your insight on this wonderful plant; thanks for stopping by!

  • Heroear profile image

    Heroear 5 years ago

    so beautiful!

    I love them!!!

  • SheilaMilne profile image

    SheilaMilne 5 years ago from Kent, UK

    Beautiful! I love wisteria but I've never been lucky enough to have one.

  • joannalynn lm profile image

    joannalynn lm 5 years ago

    Wisteria are such beautiful plants. I wish at least one species grew in North Idaho. I'm not sure if you know Wisteria are in the bean family (Fabaceae), and the Faboideae subfamily. The Fabaceae is one of the largest groups of angiosperms (flowering plants). Orchids and the sunflower family are larger than the bean family, and debate always remains as to the largest. Molecular data have been complicating the matter! The Faboideae flower has a characteristic morphology, and includes the banner (it is the flower largest flower whorl and is upright); two wings that are similar in shape and size on each side of the banner; and the keel, which is on the bottom, is smaller, and shaped like the keel of a boat. The floral parts (stamens, stigma, style) are nested in the keel. Many flowers are aggregated into the inflorescence which make them quite showy. You used "Violaceous", which a botanist would state to indicate the Violaceae (Violet Family). I'm not certain what your context is...colour? As a botanist, I always appreciate lenses that provide a tribute to the beauty of the plant kingdom. You have surely accomplished that :).

  • Michey LM profile image

    Michey LM 5 years ago

    Great lens I like your presentation. Blessings!

  • JessicaBarst profile image

    Jessica Barst 5 years ago from Dallas, TX

    @JoshK47: Thank you for your blessing, Squid Angel!

  • profile image

    JoshK47 5 years ago

    Such gorgeous flowers - thanks kindly for sharing!

  • JessicaBarst profile image

    Jessica Barst 5 years ago from Dallas, TX

    @jmchaconne: Thanks so much! I appreciate you reading and taking the time to comment. I always look forward to the time of year when these glorious vines are in full bloom!

  • JessicaBarst profile image

    Jessica Barst 5 years ago from Dallas, TX

    @anonymous: Thanks for visiting! Glad you liked it :)

  • JessicaBarst profile image

    Jessica Barst 5 years ago from Dallas, TX

    @LiteraryMind: Thank you! I appreciate you stopping by!

  • jmchaconne profile image

    jmchaconne 5 years ago

    One of my favorite flowers, thank you for a beautiful lens.

  • profile image

    anonymous 5 years ago

    great lens, very nice

  • LiteraryMind profile image

    Ellen Gregory 5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

    Beautiful lens for a beautiful flower.