Wisteria floribunda, also known as Japanese wisteria (, fuji), is a species of flowering plant that is indigenous to Japan and belongs to the Fabaceae family.  It is a twining climber with a woody, deciduous height of up to 9 m (30 ft). In the 1830s, it arrived in America for the first time from Japan.  One of the most widely romanticized floral garden plants has emerged since that time. It is frequently used as a bonsai subject, together with Wisteria sinensis (Chinese wisteria).
Perhaps the most beautiful flowering habit in the Wisteria genus belongs to the Japanese wisteria. It has the longest flower racemes of any wisteria, with some cultivars reaching a height of 2 m (7 ft).  
In the early to midspring, these racemes explode into massive trails of dense white, pink, violet, or blue blooms. The blossoms have a unique scent reminiscent of grapes. Japanese wisteria blooms early, which can be problematic in temperate locations where early frosts might ruin the flowers of the following year. Like its relative Chinese wisteria, it won’t flower until it has transitioned from the juvenile to the adult stage, a process that could take several years.
Strong clockwise-twining stems allow Japanese wisteria to sprawl over multiple supports and reach lengths of up to 30 meters (98 feet). Shiny, deep-green, pinnately complex leaves measuring 1030 centimeters (3.911.8 in) in length make up the foliage. Each of the 9–13 oblong leaflets on the leaves measures 26 centimeters (0.792.36) in length. Additionally, it produces a large number of brown, velvety, bean-like seed pods that are 510 centimeters (2.03.9 in) long, mature in the summer, and remain until the following winter. Japanese wisteria thrives in USDA plant hardiness zones 5-9. It enjoys wet soils and full light.  A plant can live for more than 50 years.
What is the name of wisteria in Japanese?
Wisteria is a historic genus of the Leguminosae family of peas that dates back to the Miocene Era (7 to 26 million years ago). While two wisteria species have their roots in eastern North America, the majority of wisteria species are native to eastern Asia. In 1862, a Japanese species was brought to the United States. Wisteria floribunda, which is known as the wisteria in our yard, was presumably developed from seed and was planted here more than a century later. The botanical name of the genus is Wisteria, and the Japanese name is Fuji, or Noda Fuji. It was named in honor of Dr. Caspar Wistar (1761–1818), a professor of anatomy at the University of Pennsylvania. In earlier sources, the name has also been spelt Wistaria.
Japanese and Chinese wisteria, two Asian species, gained the most popularity in the West thanks to their prolific bloom, enormous flower clusters, and the consistent smell and colors present in the cultivated forms (cultivars). Japanese wisteria, in Peter Valder’s opinion, is the more ornamental plant (Wisterias: A Comprehensive Guide, 1995):
“It blooms for a longer period of time, has a more graceful growth habit, more attractive blossom and leaf disposition, and more effective fall color thanks to its multi-flowered racemes.
Native to Japan, wisteria floribunda can be found in the Honshu, Shikoku, and Kyushu mountains and hills. It has been grown for more than 1200 years in Japan, both inside and on the outskirts of woodlands, in locations with light shade. Individual plants can live for 100 years or longer. It was referenced and lauded for its beauty in early Japanese literature, starting with the Kojiki (also known as Records of Ancient Matters), which was compiled in 712 from oral traditions. It was once solely known to the nobles due to the purple hue of the blossoms, particularly the illustrious Fujiwara clan of the Heian dynasty (7941192).
Japanese wisteria was originally only linked with the nobles, but over time it was associated with all social strata. It was long-lived, symbolized fertility, love, and longevity; as a result, it became a favored ornamental theme, appearing in poetry, art, and other facets of Japanese culture. Many wisteria viewing spots had been formed by the Edo period (1603-1868), notably in the areas close to Kyoto and Edo (now Tokyo). The custom of admiring wisteria is still practiced today. It is a type of hanami, which is the practice of seeing cherry blossoms (flower viewing). The Ashikaga Flower Park, Kawachi Fuji Garden, and Kameido Tenjin Shrine are all well-known locations.
In contrast to Chinese wisteria, which climbs counterclockwise, wisteria floribunda is a vigorously growing deciduous woody vine. It will eventually grow strong enough to reach the tops of trees with its twining branches. Over time, the plant’s trunk thickens and becomes incredibly heavy, inflicting harm to the plant or building that it is supported by. Wisteria should be trained on a strong pergola or arbor that can sustain its weight to avoid this. This medical procedure did not become widespread in Japan until the late 17th century.
Japanese wisteria thrives in full sun and moist, deep, fertile soils with varying pH levels. It is hardy to USDA Zone 5 (minimum temperature -20 to -10 degrees F). Although there is a great deal of variation among plants living in the wild, the following traits are typical. When mature, the compound leaf turns a brighter mid-green from its juvenile pale green or bronze-green color. On the stem, the silky leaves develop in an alternating pattern. Each compound leaf has 13–19 leaflets. With age, the slick gray bark takes on a beautiful appearance. Old trunks are frequently said to as “muscular and fluted. The colorful flower racemes, which come in various violet tones, can be anywhere from 8 to 20 inches long and sometimes even longer. From the raceme’s base to its pendulous peak, each blooms open one at a time. Although 120 volatile components were successfully isolated from flowers in 1988 by scientists, scent in seedling plants varies. Autumn brings out the yellow hues in the leaves. Pendulous, velvety fruits “about 4-6 inch long pea-pods. In October, they take on a brownish hue and last through the winter. In Japan, named cultivars have been well-known for many years, and new ones are constantly being introduced. A well-established cultivar of W. floribunda called “Macrobotrys” has racemes that are extraordinarily long and fragrant blooms (2 to 4 feet).
Seedling wisterias differ from cultivars not just in terms of scent, flower color, and raceme length, but also in how long it takes for plants to start blooming. Different cultivars can flower at a young age; however, seedling plants typically need 10 to 15 years to begin blooming. Because of this, gardeners looking to buy wisteria are recommended to go with a cultivar rather than an unidentified seedling plant. Wisteria should be planted in full sun, well-drained soil, and fertilized with a low-nitrogen, high-phosphorous, and high-potassium fertilizer to promote blooming. An established plant can benefit from root trimming, which involves severing the roots in a circle approximately 18 inches from the trunk using a spade.
Wisteria should be clipped at least three times a year because it is such a robust plant. According to Peter Valder, Japanese wisteria needs more meticulous trimming than the Chinese variety:
“With this plant, it appears that any significant thinning and reshaping should be done at the end of flowering, and that all new shoots are then cut back to two or three leaves rather than being entirely destroyed. This often entails a significant pruning in the late spring after the first new growths have emerged, a second, considerably less strenuous pruning around six weeks later, followed by a tidying up of the few long shoots generated afterwards so that the plants look neat for the autumn. When their leaves start to change and the pods dangle gently below, they become especially beautiful. By that time, they ought to have a sturdy foundation and a lot of short lateral stems with dormant flower buds.
Similar to Laburnum, a different vine belonging to the pea family, Wisteria produces deadly seeds, especially for kids and animals. It is unknown whether the concentration of the poisonous saponin wisterin in other plant sections is high enough to result in harm or death. Surprisingly, traditional Chinese medicine used wisteria plant parts and seeds for both eating and medicinal purposes. These were not customary Japanese habits.
The strong shoots of Japanese wisteria were employed to make the ropes used in home construction before carpentry tools were created. Cloth was made by weaving the bark. To this day, flowering stems are still trimmed for ikebana, the traditional Japanese art of flower arranging. The bulky vines are cultivated on pergolas, sculpted to resemble trees (henceforth referred to as standards), and used in bonsai. In some parts of Japan, you can still find old houses surrounded by wisteria bushes that resemble swimming dragons.
Does Fuji mean wisteria?
The Fuji Matsuri, also known as the “Wisteria Festival,” takes place in Japan from April 21 to May 6. At the Kameido Tenjin shrine outside of Tokyo, traditional music and dance are presented throughout the festival (traditional name Edo). Wisteria is referred to in Japanese as Fuji, not Mount Fuji, which shares the same Kanji root as wisteria. The wisteria is a representation of humility and introspection in Shin Buddhism. Wisteria is one of the earliest flowering plants in the spring and frequently blooms while there is still snow on the ground, thus it also represents hardiness. Since wisteria (fuji) sounds close to the Japanese word fushi, it is frequently said to represent immortality (“eternal life). That could explain the mountain’s name since it is said to be a sacred peak where the ghosts of the dead can reside.
What does Japanese wisteria represent?
Every region where wisteria is native has a distinct and particular symbolism associated with it. The flower has its own mythology in every culture, but because it wasn’t introduced to other nations until the 1800s, it doesn’t appear as frequently in their folklore.
Japanese Folklore and Myth
The wisteria vine is largely seen as a representation of longevity in Japan. In Japan, there are plants that have been known to live for 144 years or longer. In Japan, wisteria can also represent both wisdom and good fortune.
In order to offer travelers and newlyweds luck on their new efforts or journeys, flowers from the wisteria vine are frequently given as gifts. Purple flower symbolism was exclusive to higher-ranking individuals in Japan, as it was in Europe. Due of its historical connections to affluence and aristocracy, it is still considered a sign of superior breeding. Many Japanese families still have it on their family crests.
Chinese Symbol of Luck
The wisteria flower is regarded as a lucky and successful emblem in Chinese culture as well. But in this society, it also carries a strong romantic meaning.
Its drooping behavior is seen in Feng Shui as a symbol of humility and bowing down to someone else in respect. This could be expressing your feelings for someone by humbling yourself in front of a romantic partner or love interest. It is a typical flower used at weddings and other intimate gatherings.
Korean Folklore for Wisteria
Wisteria acquired the most romantic connotation in Korea. It directly evolved a myth about identical twin sisters who fell head over heels for the same man. They couldn’t agree on who should get to marry him, so they made the decision to drown themselves. In death, they were reunited and changed into the Wisteria vine. One sister took on the form of the plant’s clutching, twisted stem, while the other took on the form of its delicate leaves and petals. The man they loved also dove into the water and changed into a nettle tree, which is what the Wisteria vine usually grows on in Korea.
Victorian Language of Flowers
Wisteria acquired a spot in the historic Language of Flowers since it did travel throughout Europe and quickly become popular during the Victorian era.
Wisteria vines have a reputation for their clinging growth pattern, just like in other civilizations. When Victorians intended to convey a message of intense yearning and passion, they would incorporate a cluster of beautiful purple petals in their bouquets.
The wisteria in particular was thought to be communicating, “I cling to you like I would cling to the branches of other trees. While wisteria wasn’t always available and needed special care to grow in Victorian England, the elite who wanted to make a dramatic statement with a rare imported bloom thought the effort was worthwhile.
Is wisteria a bloom native to Japan?
There are many other magnificent flowers that bloom in Japan besides cherry blossoms. Beautiful flowering plant known as wisteria, or “fuji” in Japanese, has flowers that might be purple, white, pink, or blue. Since the plant climbs, it is frequently trained to ascend unusual trellises and arches all throughout Japan.
One of the most magnificent wisteria gardens you may see in Japan is Kawachi Fujien Wisteria Garden, which is situated in Kitakyushu. Late April is when the wisteria blooming season here starts.
Wisteria is at its most magnificent in the spring, when it is in full bloom. It goes without saying that visiting Japan in the spring will allow you to witness flowers like wisteria, cherry blossoms, shibazakura, tulips, and more.
Hanami is one of the nicest things to do in Japan in the spring. There are still many sites to see sakura in Northern Japan, even though wisteria blooms often bloom after sakura season is ended.
If you want to witness both wisteria and cherry blossoms, you must first visit a wisteria garden in central Japan before moving on to another location in northern Japan to observe the cherry blossoms.
Where in Japan can one find wisteria? Discover the answer as we list the top seven wisteria viewing locations in Japan. Enjoy!
Wisteria—is it a name?
Wisteria is a girl’s name that means “Wister’s flower.” A name with a flowery southern accent that has yet to appear on many birth certificates. The wisteria symbolizes commitment in the language of flowers. John Caspar Wister, an American horticulturist, is honored by its name.
Is wisteria Blue Moon of Japan?
A variety of the American native Kentucky wisteria is called Blue Moon Wisteria. This hardy floral vine can bloom multiple times in the spring and summer and adores the sun.
Wisteria is it poisonous?
A common garden decorative that is a deciduous woody climbing vine.
Blooms: The flowers are long, pendulous clusters that resemble peas and are often purple, however they can also be white or pink in color.
Leaves: The leaves are alternating on the stem and have either 7–13 opposing leaflets (W. sinensis) or 15–19 opposite leaflets (W. floribunda), one of which is a terminal leaflet. The leaflets are 3–7 cm long, oblong to elliptic, and pointed at the tip.
Fruit/Berries: The fruit is a 10-15 cm long pod covered in a few short, pale brown hairs that resemble velvet, and it contains a few flat, spherical, dark-brown seeds.
Other: The plant is poisonous throughout, however the parts that are typically consumed are the seeds or seed pods.
Burning mouth, nausea, discomfort in the abdomen, vomiting, and diarrhea are some symptoms that can occur. Sometimes these symptoms are followed by a collapse.