Getting Bigger: SoCal's Mega 250-Ton Plant

The world's largest flowering vine goes on display, for one day only.

By Alysia Gray Painter
|  Thursday, Mar 14, 2013  |  Updated 10:33 AM PDT
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Getting Bigger: SoCal's Mega 250-Ton Plant

Alysia Gray Painter

It's purple, it's giant, and it covers two large backyards: It's Sierra Madre's wistaria vine, and it will be open for visitors on Sunday, March 17.

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Neighbor disputes have been around since the concept of people living side-by-side was invented. And the recommendations for solving neighborly quibbles have been plentiful: higher fences, higher hedges, higher walls.

But perhaps neighborly love blooms when two homes have a common and rather important purpose. Take two houses in the foothills of Sierra Madre, for example, and the wistaria vine that grows across both of their yards. It's no mere vine but the world's largest blooming plant, per the Guinness Book of World Records.

How would you and your current neighbor handle having a superstar growing across your yards? Working together is absolutely key (and that very much seems to have been the happy situation over the decades with the vine-close Sierra Madre homes).

It's one of the great things about the town's most famous resident, which will be open for public view on Sunday, March 17. A crafts-and-food festival happens throughout the day in Sierra Madre, too. The vine is located just up the hill from the center of town.

A few wistaria vine facts: It's 250 tons. It's got about 1,500,000 blossoms, give or take. And it is said to grow 2 inches every day. Bought from a Monrovia nursery, it was planted in 1894. So, 2 inches every day, planted in 1894 -- you do the math. Or you don't have to, really. It's grown a lot.

What's to know? Seeing the vine is free but the shuttle up has a fee; some people choose to hoof it up the big hill. Also? It's a one-day-only thing. Because the mega vine grows on private property, it remains closed to the public for 364 days a year.

Also? It is indeed spelled "wistaria" 'round Sierra Madre, not "wisteria," just another charming fact behind a rather charming story.

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