Wisteria sinensis, or Chinese wisteria, is blooming all over London. It's been a favorite in the city for a couple of centuries now.
Wisteria Sinensis was unknown in Europe before 1816, when several agents of the East India Company working in China sent cuttings back to England. A 200 year-old vine, growing at Griffin's Brewery in Chiswick, London, planted that same year, is often cited as England's oldest living wisteria plant. Over the next several decades the plant became, and remains, one of the quintessential ornamental vines in English gardens. The white-flowering form, Wisteria Sinensis Alba, was discovered in a garden by Botanist Robert Fortune in 1844, from whence he took cuttings for the Royal Horticultural Society. It is most commonly trained along garden walls, along the exterior of buildings, or over a pergola to create avenues of overhanging blossoms during bloom.
The Londonist has a roundup of Instagram pictures of London's lovely wisteria in bloom from just the past week or so. If you want to see more, unrestricted by date or location, check out #wisteria at Instagram. -via Nag on the Lake