Jacaranda Trees in Bloom: My Photos
Roses Are Red, Jacarandas Are... PURPLE!
May Day, May Day... our magic purple trees, Jacarandas, are back!
I've lived in California since 1996. I fell in love with these trees that first spring when I flew back from May Day festivities back east and looked down from the airplane to see that mad vandals had apparently spilled bright purple paint across all the streets in Orange County. During final approach, I suddenly realized: the streets hadn't turned purple over the weekend; it was all the trees in the median strips blooming that impossible color.
I guess native Californians are used to them, but this non-native Californian is still amazed every spring when, for two months, all the trees lining the streets and parks of Orange County bloom a shade as spectacular as the autumn colors of maples where I grew up. They've only just started (above) on May 1st, so let me share a few photos from previous years to whet your appetite. I'll post more jacaranda tree photos when the blooming season really takes off.
Jacaranda Trees in Bloom: May 26, 2008
During the week when I moved into my new home, the jacarandas in the park outside went into full bloom. There was a strange overcast day, then the sun came out:
My First Glimpse of My New Neighborhood
It was love at first sight.
About Jacaranda Trees - Origins, Growing Jacarandas, and More
Mature jacarandas (aka "blue jacarandas," Jacaranda mimosafolia) are about 40-50 feet tall with gray bark, blooming with bunches of trumpet-shaped purple flowers from the beginning of May through June. California's jacarandas sometimes bloom again in the fall. They have delicate sprays of small green leaves somewhat like mimosa trees, dropping them in the winter. In late summer the flowers are replaced by large papery, woody seed-pods that often hang on for a year or two.
These subtropical trees can be sprouted in containers and pots, but they will eventually need lots of room, as they tend to spread. Mature trees bloom best with plenty of sun. You can easily sprout them from seed, but this excellent Jacaranda Tree Growers Guide recommends grafting. There seems to be some disagreement about whether or not to prune; the beautiful trees next to my condo have not been pruned that I can see.
The main problem with jacarandas (which I don't think is much of a problem) is that they tend to litter the ground with flowers, which are a little sticky; some people complain of the smell when they rot. Don't plant jacarandas over a pool; they'll clog your drains. They can also be messy over sidewalks.
The introduction of Southern California's Jacarandas from Argentina/Bolivia is credited to Kate Sessions, "Mother of Balboa Park" in San Diego, where the purple trees adorn many avenues. In fact, jacaranda is the official tree of San Diego.
Fun Jacaranda trivia: the chorus of a popular Australian Christmas song says, "When the bloom of the Jackaranda tree is here, Christmas time is near." Yep, they've got a lot of Jacarandas down under. They are also popular trees in South Africa and Israel. As you can tell, they flourish in hot, dry climates.
Jacarandas Photo Gallery - Stay Tuned For More!Click thumbnail to view full-size
Jacaranda Trees in the Breeze - Ah, spring! (yes, it's turned sideways)
A little video clip I took on a breezy day in May.
Free Jacaranda Tree Wallpaper - My Photo
Mexican Parrots Love Jacarandas, Too - Video from Parrots.Org
Remember my noisy neighbors, the Mexican Red-Cheeked parrots that have made their home in southern California after getting hunted almost to extinction in Mexico? They love jacaranda flowers! I'll often see them roosting or browsing in the trees outside.
Jacaranda Tree Poll - Honk if You Like Purple
Have you ever seen jacarandas in bloom?
© 2011 Ellen Brundige