Famous Giant Plant: On View for One Day

Sierra Madre's well-known wistaria vine again opens to its adoring, agog public.

There's a fairly solid chance that, when you were but a tot, you had dreams of making it into the "Guinness Book of World Records" for some great feat.

That feat might have involved how many gumballs you could hold in your mouth, or how long you could hold a handstand, or a massive playing card house, the kind that took you days to build.

It's assured, though, that a tiny wistaria vine planted in a Sierra Madre backyard, back in 1894, never saw itself being named as the World's Largest Blossoming Plant one day, far in the future, by the iconic record-keeping organization.

Of course, the famous Sierra Madre wistaria, which is still in a private backyard — scratch that, make it two private backyards — probably didn't think much of record books over the years. It was too busy growing, and growing, and growing.

Now the ginormous, purple-flowered celebrity will once again make its annual cameo, thanks to a free viewing on Sunday, March 12. As mentioned, it rambles over two large backyards, meaning it cannot be seen for 364 days of the year.

A few notes: The homes are up in the foothills, and if you want to hop a shuttle, there is a small cost, and you'll need a ticket. But walking up from the village, and entering the yards to see the vine, is free.

Also, the spelling? You may write the more common "wisteria" in your everyday life, but in Sierra Madre, please. It's always and forever "wistaria," with an "a," and it is best not to quibble about it, especially since the super-vine is so much older and wiser than any human alive today.

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The bud-bedecked vine isn't the only show in town, though. A full-on Wistaria Festival will unfurl down the hill from the star of the day, around the village, so make time to stroll among the 120+ vendors, and nosh from a food truck, and enjoy those mountain-close views.

Maybe, as you stroll, you can ponder how you can achieve Guinness-related fame one day, from highest jump to how many gumballs you can choose at once.

Of course, if you're a wistaria vine, you'll need to start growing soon, to catch up with the mega plant that's been showing its purple stuff, in Sierra Madre, for nearly 125 years.

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