You know that Spring is here to stay when the Wisteria begins to bloom.
Wisteria is a flowering plant belonging to the "pea family," and its vines climb by twining their stems around any available support. They can climb as high as 65 feet above ground and spread out 33 feet laterally. Although not as invasive as and prettier than kudzu (also known as "the vine that ate the South), Wisteria does have a tendency to cover everything within the reach of the tentacles of its vines.
The world's largest known Wisteria vine is located in Sierra Madre, California, measuring more than one acre in size and weighing 250 tons!
Sierra Madre is known for its annual Wistaria Festival (an alternative spelling of Wisteria), which celebrates its 116-year-old Wisteria vine. The plant was named by the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest blooming plant and one of the seven horticultural wonders of the world. The annual festival is the one day a year the vine, which is on private property, can be viewed.
The Wisteria is in full bloom in Mississippi now, and I'd like to share some pictures I took yesterday along the Natchez Trace between Clinton, Mississippi and Jackson. If you click on the pictures, you can see the details of the exquisite petals that make up the graceful flower clusters.
The Natchez Trace is at its loveliest this time of year, and if you are close enough to explore it, I hope you will take the time, especially while the Wisteria is in bloom. I promise you won't be disappointed.