wis·​te·​ria wi-ˈstir-ē-ə How to pronounce wisteria (audio)
variants or less commonly wistaria
: any of a genus (Wisteria) of mostly woody leguminous vines of China, Japan, and the southeastern U.S. that have pinnately compound leaves and long racemes of showy blue, white, purple, or rose papilionaceous flowers and that include several (such as W. sinensis and W. floribunda) grown as ornamentals

Illustration of wisteria

Illustration of wisteria

Examples of wisteria in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Awful Weed #1: Wisteria Japanese and Chinese wisteria (Wisteria floribunda and sinensis) are absolutely gorgeous in flower. Steve Bender, Southern Living, 7 July 2023 Cottage Planted 20 years ago, a lavender-and-cream Japanese wisteria climbs the pergola, flowering every May. Owen Holmes, House Beautiful, 23 Mar. 2023 While vigorous, American wisteria doesn't grow as aggressively as non-native wisterias. Rita Pelczar, Better Homes & Gardens, 17 Feb. 2023 Sometimes people complain that their wisteria is not blooming. oregonlive, 12 Jan. 2021 In a recent Instagram post from the 89-year-old industry icon, Collins showed off her timeless style while searching for a blooming wisteria tree with her husband, Percy Gibson. Zizi Strater, Peoplemag, 7 Apr. 2023 Lee Ungno has great facility with ink, for example, but executing the densely interwoven vines of a wisteria, frequently a symbol of longevity, to resemble a thoroughly nonfigurative Jackson Pollock drip-painting seems dismissive in a perhaps unintentionally jokey way. Los Angeles Times, 22 Sep. 2022 The wisteria bloom from mid-April to mid-May. Emily Matchar, Smithsonian Magazine, 4 Feb. 2022 While the Bridgerton's wisteria-framed London house is filmed across the Thames in Greenwich, it's meant to be in Grosvenor Square, the largest garden square in Mayfair. Travel + Leisure, 25 Mar. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'wisteria.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


New Latin Wisteria, from Caspar Wistar †1818 American physician

First Known Use

1842, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of wisteria was in 1842

Dictionary Entries Near wisteria

Cite this Entry

“Wisteria.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wisteria. Accessed 1 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


wis·​te·​ria wis-ˈtir-ē-ə How to pronounce wisteria (audio)
variants also wistaria
: any of a genus of mostly woody vines of China, Japan, and the southeastern U.S. that belong to the legume family and have leaves with numerous leaflets and showy blue, white, purple, or rose flowers in long hanging clusters

named for Caspar Wistar 1761–1818 American physician

More from Merriam-Webster on wisteria

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