The world’s largest wisteria vine grows in Sierra Madre, California. There is even a festival honoring this mammoth wisteria vine and the plant’s namesake. The Wistaria Festival takes place annually in this community in California that is home to the more than 100 year old wisteria vine.
The popular and showy wisteria vine was originally named Glycinia after the word “glykys,” which is Greek for sweet. An American naturalist, Thomas Nuttall, renamed the wisteria in the 1800s to honor a renowned botanist at the University of Pennsylvania.
Even though the plant was named in honor of Professor Casper Wistar, his named was accidentally misspelled and the ‘a’ was replaced with an ‘e’. The name was never changed, and wisteria has been the common and botanical name of this plant ever since.
The masterpiece wisteria vine growing in California is so large that it has received a place in the ‘The Guinness Book of Records’. It has been named as “The largest blossoming plant in the world.” This amazing wisteria vine is more than one acre in size and weighs 250 tons.
It has more than 1.5 million blossoms every year with 40 blooms per square foot. The branches of this unbelievable wisteria vine reach an amazing 500 feet long. Horticultural experts have estimated the branches can grow 24 inches in 24 hours.
The world’s largest wisteria vine is a beautiful lavender Chinese variety. It was planted in 1894 by William and Alice Brugman. The couple bought the plant at a local nursery for 75 cents and planted it near their home. They eventually sold their home twenty years after planting the wisteria. H. T. Fennel bought the home and fell in love with the wisteria vine and began building arbors for it.
The wisteria vine continued growing and became too large for the supports erected by Mr. Fennel. The huge plant eventually began growing onto the house. The roof could not support the weight of the giant wisteria vine and finally the roof collapsed. The house was demolished in 1931. They built a new house close by. New supports kept being added for the wisteria and it was allowed to continue growing.
This extraordinary wisteria vine was honored with its first festival in 1918. This tradition has continued every year since. The festival has approximately 15,000 visitors each spring to celebrate the world’s largest wisteria vine.
This magnificent antique wisteria vine has been named one of the seven horticultural wonders of the world. It takes an honorably place with the gardens of Buckingham Palace, the redwood forests of Sequoia National Park, Brazil’s tropical jungle in the Amazon Valley, India’s gardens of the Taj Mahal, Japan’s Yokohama rockgardens, and Mexico’s Xochimilco floating gardens.