Wisteria (紫藤) is a genus of flowering plant in the pea family, Fabaceae, that includes ten species of woody climbing vines  native to the China, Korea, Japan and Eastern United States. Some species are popular ornamental plants.

Wisteria vines climb by twining their stems round any available support. They can climb as high as 20 m above the ground and spread out 10 m laterally.

The leaves are alternate, 15 to 35 cm long, pinnate, with 9 to 19 leaflets. The flowers are produced in pendulous racemes 10 to 80 cm, and are lilac, purple, pink or white. Flowering is in Spring (just before or as the leaves appear).

Wisteria flowers in full bloom.
Wisteria flowers in full bloom.
DSC02870 (1280x960)
The inflorescence at the bottom are in full bloom while those above are still in the flower bud stages.

 

 

 

Close-up photo of Wisteria flowers. They have lilac showy petals.
Close-up photo of Wisteria flowers. They have lilac showy petals.
The 5 petals are detached from the flower, 2 of them fused together at the top. On the top right corner are 10 stamens (male parts).
The 5 petals are detached from the flower, 2 of them fused together at the top. On the top right corner are 10 stamens (male parts).

 

There are 10 stamens, 9 of them arranged in a stamen tube and one stamen free. The stamens surround the pistil – the female part.

There are 10 stamens, 9 of them arranged in a stamen tube and one stamen free. The stamens surround the pistil - the female part.
There are 10 stamens, 9 of them arranged in a stamen tube and one stamen free. The stamens surround the pistil – the female part.
P1410289 (1060x1280)
The pistil with a stigma at the top end and an ovary at the bottom. The ovary was cut open to show the line of ovules inside.

The flowers of some species are fragrant, most notably Chinese Wisteria. The seeds are produced in pods.

Wisteria has nitrogen fixing capability (provided by Rhizobia bacteria in root nodules).

 

More photographs of the beautiful Wisteria

Leaves and inflorescences from the climbing vine of Wisteria.
Leaves and inflorescence from the climbing vine of Wisteria.
Wisteria vines climb by twining their stems round any available support such as the pillars of a pergola.
Wisteria vines climb by twining their stems round any available support such as the pillars of a pergola.
This walkway is surrounded by Wisteria flowers.
This walkway is surrounded by Wisteria flowers.

 

Some species of Wisteria possesses white flowers.

Wisteria with white flowers
Wisteria with white flowers

Please visit this website for spectacular views of the Wisteria:

http://team-yellow.com/2014/10/18/fukuokas-kawachi-fuji-gardens-features-beautiful-wisteria-tunnels/ (Fukuoka’s Kawachi Fuji Gardens features beautiful Wisteria tunnels)

 Chinese paintings of Wisteria

Wisteria is loved by Chinese artists, being a popular subject for painting. The flowers are sweet and beautiful but fragile, while the climbing vines are strong and powerful. They form a pair of contrasting features complementing each other.

Yùn Nántián (惲南田) (1633-1690) Wisteria flowers, ink and Chinese watercolour on paper
Yùn Nántián (惲南田) (1633-1690) Wisteria flowers, ink and Chinese watercolour on paper
Yùn Nántián (惲南田) (1633-1690)Wisteria flowers, ink and Chinese watercolour on paper
Yùn Nántián (惲南田) (1633-1690)Wisteria flowers, ink and Chinese watercolour on paper
Zhao Zhiqian 趙之謙 (1829 – 1884) Wisteria flowers, ink and Chinese watercolour on paper
Zhao Zhiqian (趙之謙) (1829 – 1884) Wisteria flowers, ink and Chinese watercolour on paper

 

Ren Bonian 任伯年 (1840 – 1896) Wisteria flowers and birds, ink and Chinese watercolour on paper
Ren Bonian (任伯年) (1840 – 1896) Wisteria flowers and birds, ink and Chinese watercolour on paper

 

Wu Changshuo吴昌碩 (1844 -1927) Wisteria flowers, ink and Chinese watercolour on paper
Wu Changshuo (吴昌碩) (1844 -1927) Wisteria flowers, ink and Chinese watercolour on paper

 

Wu Changshuo吴昌碩 (1844 -1927) Wisteria flowers, ink and Chinese watercolour on paper
Qi Baishi (齊白石)(1864 – 1957) Wisteria flowers, ink and Chinese watercolour on paper

 

Zhū Lè sān諸樂三 (1902 – 1984) Wisteria flowers, ink and Chinese watercolour on paper
Zhū Lè sān (諸樂三) (1902 – 1984) Wisteria flowers, ink and Chinese watercolour on paper

 

Yu Jin-lan (余金蘭)(active around 1960) Wisteria flowers and a bird, ink and Chinese watercolour on paper
Yu Jin-lan (余金蘭)(active around 1960) Wisteria flowers and a bird, ink and Chinese watercolour on paper

 

CHOW Korn Chuen 周幹全 (1983) Wisteria and butterflies 牆高蝶渡遲. Inscribed by Chan Hing Hung 陳荊鴻
CHOW Korn Chuen (周幹全) (1983) Wisteria and butterflies 牆高蝶渡遲  Inscribed by Chan Hing Hung (陳荊鴻)

 

Chao Shao-ang (趙少昂) (1905 – 1998), Wisteria flowers, ink and Chinese watercolour on paper
Chao Shao-ang (趙少昂) (1905 – 1998), Wisteria flowers, ink and Chinese watercolour on paper
Chao Shao-ang (趙少昂) (1905 – 1998), Wisteria flowers, ink and Chinese watercolour on paper
Chao Shao-ang (趙少昂) (1905 – 1998), Wisteria flowers, ink and Chinese watercolour on paper

 

Courtesy of 李祖升老師
Susan Lee Tsu Sheng (李祖升) Wisteria flowers, ink and Chinese watercolour on paper, 96 x 192 cm (Courtesy of Ms Susan Lee Tsu Sheng 李祖升老師)

 

Japanese Drawing / Print on Wisteria

Katsushika Hokusai (葛飾 北斎) (c1760 - 1849), Wagtail and Wisteria (from' Small Flowers')
Katsushika Hokusai (葛飾 北斎) (c1760 – 1849), Wagtail and Wisteria (from’ Small Flowers’)

Claude Monet’s Wisteria paintings

Monet loved Japanese prints. His works might show some Japanese influence.

Claude Monet, c 1920 Wisteria(diptych), left panel, oil on canvas, 150 x 200 cm, Collection of Mr & Mrs J Pulitzer, Jr
Claude Monet, c 1920 Wisteria (diptych), left panel, oil on canvas, 150 x 200 cm, Collection of Mr & Mrs J Pulitzer, Jr
Claude Monet, c 1920 Wisteria(diptych), right panel, oil on canvas, 150 x 200 cm, Collection of Mr & Mrs J Pulitzer, Jr
Claude Monet, c 1920 Wisteria(diptych), right panel, oil on canvas, 150 x 200 cm, Collection of Mr & Mrs J Pulitzer, Jr

p72

 

Claude Monet, c 1920 Wisteria, oil on canvas, 100 x 301 cm, Collection of the Musee Marmottam, Paris
Claude Monet, c 1920 Wisteria, oil on canvas, 100 x 301 cm, Collection of the Musee Marmottam, Paris

 

p73

Claude Monet, c 1920 Wisteria, oil on canvas, 100 x 301 cm,
Claude Monet, c 1920 Wisteria, oil on canvas, 100 x 301 cm,

Chinese Poems related to Wisteria

【紫藤樹】  李白

紫藤掛雲木,花蔓宜陽春。

密葉隱歌鳥,香風留美人。

【三月三十日題慈恩寺】白居易

慈恩春色今朝盡,盡日裴回倚寺門。

惆悵春歸留不得,紫藤花下漸黃昏。

Japanese dance related to Wisteria

Fuji Musume or ‘Wisteria Maiden ’ is a famous classical dance first performed in 1826 in Kabukiza Theater in Japan. On a clear day in May wisteria are in full bloom. Nearby is a pine tree. The heroine, a maiden with a spring of wisteria was inspired by a famous drawing called ohtsu-e. The young maiden represents a spirit of wisteria, and the pine tree is the beloved one the wisteria longs for. The dance becomes popular and performed frequently especially during the time when Wisteria blooms.

Fuji Musume or ‘Wisteria Maiden 藤娘
Fuji Musume or ‘Wisteria Maiden 藤娘
Fuji Musume or ‘Wisteria Maiden’
Fuji Musume or ‘Wisteria Maiden’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9KQxjVm_lo (Fuji Musume (Wisteria Maiden) (part 1)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqtgJ8I5yb0 (Fuji Musume (Wisteria Maiden) (part 2)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MrIc8VrDv_8 (Fuji Musume (Wisteria Maiden) (part 3)

 

Bibliography :

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wisteria

https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E7%B4%AB%E8%97%A4 (紫藤)

http://zhidao.baidu.com/question/36004940.html (Chinese poems related to Wisteria)

http://www.zen-garden.org/html/page_FujiMusume.htm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bw1Nib65mJQ (Fuji musume )

户辅圣 (2003) 中国画历代名家技法图典 花鳥编(上) 上海華书画出版社

Monet’s Years at Giverny: Beyond Impressionism (1978) The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Abrama  ISBN 0-8109-2183-9

 

Advertisements