Wild wisteria in the hills above Sano (Northern Kanto Plain), May 2000 (Photo: Brian Chandler)
■ 藤 - the plant Wisteria
This is the climbing plant well-known in gardens around the world. In Japan, it can relatively easily be found growing in the wild, though usually somewhere hard to approach with a camera. Although there are a number of varieties, they are very similar in general appearance. The wild Japanese variety is Wisteria floribunda, also known as 野田藤（のだふじ）; it was taken to Europe by the German Philipp Franz Balthasar von Siebold, probably in 1863.
There is also, though, a tradition of growing wisteria for ornamental purposes in Japan. It is also trained into overhead displays using trellises, and there is a particularly memorable example at Heirinji, the Zen temple in Saitama Ken, where long passages are literally roofed with these flowers, which hang down just above head height in far greater density than one sees in the wild.
■ 藤色（ふじいろ） - the colour
This usually refers to a pale mauve, but interpretations may vary. The colours below were all taken from web pages suggesting they were 藤色. (The leftmost sample is from a photograph of a kimono, so may be duller than the original colour.)
This entry was created by Brian Chandler, with additional contributions by Roger Williams.