On March 19, 2023, the Sierra Madre Wistaria Festival celebrates Sierra Madre’s 230 ton/one acre Wistaria, designated by the Guinness Book of World Records as the World’s Largest Blossoming Plant.
By Jean Sudbury
This year, the Sierra Madre Wistaria Festival will be held on Sunday, March 19, from 9:00 to 5:00 pm. The Wistaria Festival was canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID, but returned in 2022. The Festival is organized by the Sierra Madre Chamber of Commerce. Visitors can shop and dine in Sierra Madre, and they can enjoy a beer garden, a special playland for children, live music, over 100 crafters and exhibits, a car show and more. As parking is limited, there is a $15 fee for an optional shuttle service for those who would rather not walk up to see the vine.
The original vine, a Chinese wistaria, was planted from a 75-cent gallon can in 1892. The plant is named in honor of Caspar Wistar (1761-1818), an American physician whose accomplishments included writing the first book on anatomy.
In the early 1900s, the vine grew into the walls of the original house and caused the roof to collapse. Mr. Fennel, the homeowner at the time, abandoned the house and built a new home 200 feet to the north; he trained the vine to grow up to that home. The old home was torn down in 1931, but a portion of the original foundation was saved to continue to give support to the growing vine. Today the vine covers more than an acre and sits on the properties of two separate private residences in northern Sierra Madre.
Sierra Madre’s Wistaria Festival 3/19/23 9:00 - 500 pm
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