(Wisteria Sinensis)

What to know about this plant?

It is a deciduous climbing plant. It first produces the flower. Clusters of violet flowers, although there are also white and blue varieties. It usually flowers in early spring (mid to late March), although it may bloom a second time (around June) and even a third time (late summer). In any case, its most spectacular blooming is the first one. It has a very pleasant aroma, which especially attracts bumblebees. Then it gives the leaf and produces small pods with seeds. You have to be very careful because both are toxic.
Although it can grow in the shade, it requires a lot of sun to bloom. They take quite a long time to start blooming (up to 10 years). And they can live up to 100 years, with specimens up to 200 years old.

In the Alhambra we find another similar variety, the wisteria floribunda, with slightly longer flower clusters. It is in the pergolas of the New Gardens of the Generalife.


Where does it come from?

This plant is native to Asia. This particular variety is from China. It was first introduced in Europe in 1816 and since then its ornamental value has been highly appreciated. However, it is necessary to be careful when planting it close to houses, walls, etc. As it grows it can damage them.

There are numerous allusions to this plant in Asian legends, especially in Korean mythology, where in the “Legends of Jonseon” its origin is narrated, curiously linked to conflict resolution.

Its common names

We know it mainly as Glicinia, but there are also those who call it by its botanical name wisteria. The origin of this name is that it is dedicated to Caspar Wistar (1761-1818), who was Professor of Anatomy at the University of Pennsylvania.

In some areas it is also known as wisteria and feather flower.

Its translations

English: wisteria, Chinese wisteria

Français: glycine, glycine de Chine

Be careful! I am toxic.

As we mentioned above, the pod and seeds are poisonous if ingested. They contain wisterin which causes nausea, vomiting, stomach pains and diarrhea in adults, and even death in children and pets.

Author: Daniel Aguilera

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