Huntington Wisteria: The New Big Bloomer

Admire the purple, drape-down blossoms in San Marino.

March around Southern California can be so flowery, so suddenly, that a local blossom buff can hardly know where to turn.

Do you try Lake Elsinore, for poppies, but very early, and maybe on a weekday? Or Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, for a host of arid-awesome bloomers, and also on a weekday, due to extreme interest? Should you go in search of the delightful daffodils that spring up around Twin Peaks and Lake Arrowhead?

Choices, choices, and more choices, with the added time constraint that wildflowers traditionally have a pretty notable window.

That window is definitely still open for many places as we roll into late March, and the Sierra petals haven't even truly begun to make a showing, up in the higher elevations, but there are some flowers hitting their showy strides at some Southern California public gardens as March winds down.

The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens is the spot for a vivacious line-up of lovely buds, but let us highlight one that's rather unusual: the wisteria.

It's a purple drape-down gem, the kind of plant we look up to admire as it sprawls across pergolas and trellises.

This makes wisteria enjoyment a bit quirky, in the sense that California poppies and Death Valley sunflowers are of the stare-down genus while wisteria is firmly in the look-up family (or look-ahead).

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But don't fall too deeply into the beautiful brevity of the moment, all while keeping your peepers solely trained on the wisteria flowers over your head; gaze also upon the many other petals springing up at the Japanese and Chinese Gardens, which is where wisteria may be found at The Huntington.

It can be a pleasure to fall into all of that purple, in a spring reverie, but there are other flowers doing their whole "look at me!" show, too, at the 120-acre San Marino-based landmark.

Unlike many out-in-the-country wildflower spots, there is an admission charge to The Huntington. But it is closer to home for many flower fans, too, and finding a thick pergola of lavender-hued wisteria is a sight that belongs to a public garden or other private space (such as the homes of the recent Sierra Madre Wistaria Festival).

Is it poppies or wisteria for you in the coming days? A wide 'n wild expanse or a carefully tended garden? Orange sunshine or purple deep? 

Most nature-obsessed seekers would likely love upon both. But don't dally too long, for flower blooms have their yearly moment and then fade away for another, long-off day.

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