What to Know
- The vibrant vine is at its pretty peak around Southern California
- Known for its purple, lavender, and white shades, wisteria also has a soft and distinctive scent
- Descanso Gardens, LA Arboretum, and The Huntington all feature a number of picturesque wisteria vines
Seeking the classic flowers of a Southern California springtime?
We're probably looking down, at the ground, at various plots and parkways and beds and expanses and hillslopes, the sorts of places where petals tend to burst forth as March melds into April.
But there's a look-up luminary on the local flower scene, a scentful celebrity that has a connection to the sky as well as the earth below.
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It's wisteria, the purple-blossom'd vine that can add kapow to a trellis, a gateway, a fence, or just about anywhere else it can luxuriously drape above or near our heads.
It's a stunner of a specimen that thrives quite well around our region, with Exhibit A flourishing in the foothills of Sierra Madre: It's the World's Largest Blooming Plant, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, and it has been growing, growing, growing in a private backyard since the 1890s.
There was no flowery festivity in the world-famous wisteria's honor in 2021, but fans of the vivacious vine can still find it along neighborhood streets, in parks, and in places like Descanso Gardens, which reports that the vine gracing its visitor center is in peak and petal-strong form as April begins.
(Purple people, here's something else sweet from the historic gardens: The local lilac is looking lovely, too, at the outset of the fourth and oh-so-flowery month.)
The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens is another place to find wisteria, in addition to the many, many, many other flowers that grow at the San Marino landmark.
We said "many," right? Add a few more "manys" for good measure, please and thank you.
Look near where The Huntington's Rose Garden meets the Japanese Garden for stunning, snapshot-worthy splendor of the wisteria-est variety.
And if you swing by the Meadowbrook area of the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanical Garden? You'll see the gorgeous bloomer in glorious form.
By the by, Descanso Gardens shared that wisteria is related to the chickpea and lentils, so break out that fun fact for the fam on your way to go find the up-in-the-sky, over-that-bower, along-that-wall floral favorite.