The sweet perfume of Wisteria

Just a short story

The wisteria is a plant native to the Asian regions, in particular of China and it is incredible how many legends have been born around this extraordinary gift of nature. The scientific name Wisteria was awarded in honor of the American scholar Kaspar Wistar who first studied its characteristics; the Germans call it blauregen which means “blue rain”, while the Chinese use the term zi teng which stands for “blue vine”.

The Italian word “glicine” comes from the Greek word glikis which meaning is ‘sweet’ and refers to the sweetish scent of its flowers that bloom in April-May, embellishing the gardens and porches.

The wisteria is the protagonist of many Chinese and Japanese stories and legends. It is said, in fact, that the emperors during their travels brought with them small wisteria bonsai to give as a sign of friendship and benevolence to the inhabitants of foreign lands. Then there is an Italian legend: according to the Piedmontese tradition, there was once a shepherdess named Glicine who was despaired for her physical appearance, she felt ugly compared to the other girls in town. One day, while she was crying, her tears fell on the ground and generated a wonderful fragrant plant, the wisteria. Surrounded by so much wonder, she stopped crying, happy to have created such a flower by herself.

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