wisteria week

Wisteria japonica fronting Fujinoki Elementary School

The native Japanese Wisteria climbs through tall trees all over Honshu’s woodlands. The pale green leaves have 13-19 leaflets. The flowers of some species are pinkish white though the lavender ones are the most widespread ones. They grow in the satoyama parks and on empty patches of land too.

wisteria week2

Above: “Hanging gardens” of Ooka, Yokohama

Quiz: Which May flower features in a famous and popular classical dance of the kabuki theater?

Answer: The Japanese Wisteria or Fuji Flower.

In the kabuki dance called the Wisteria Maiden or “Fuji Musume”, the maiden in a painting comes alive and steps out of a painting after being admired by a male passerby. Dressed in a long flowering kimono, the maiden dances under a pine tree, carrying a beautiful bouquet of flowering wisteria.

The native Japanese Wisteria climbs through tall trees all over Honshu’s woodlands. The pale green leaves have 13-19 leaflets. The flowers of some species are pinkish white though the lavender ones are the most widespread ones. You can see the pods hanging down in this picture.

Interesting fact: The native wisteria twines clockwise but the Chinese Wisteria twines anti-clockwise. Click here to see photos of the tree trunk,  developed pods and closeup of flower.

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