Friday, March 23, 2007

Friday Flowers: Jacaranda

Jacaranda blue
petals rain on red tile roofs
Guadalajara

While winter's grip in loosening in our area, I still am dreaming about warm places I have visited in late winters of the past. This is the time of year when the Jacaranda tree blooms in Mexico, their fragrant purple flowers filling the sky and covering the ground.

Pretoria, South Africa is known as the Jacaranda City, or Jakarandastad in Africaans, due to the large number of trees planted in the area. It is said the city looks purple-blue from the distant hills when they bloom. I was born in Pretoria and while I do not remember my time there, I have heard my parents tell of the flowers and have seen their pictures of the trees in bloom.
My parents lived in Guadalajara, Mexico for many years. This is a street in their neighbourhood where I took the closeup picture of this flower.

The fern-like deciduous foliage can sometimes appear after the flowers start to bloom and the tree remains in bloom for up to two months. They can reach a height of 25 to 40 feet and often spread their curved branches for similar distances.

We have many beautiful flowering trees here in the spring, but their blossoms are finished in just a few days. Trees and flowers in tropical and subtropical climates give extravagant displays of colour, scent and contrast.

Have you had a Jacaranda experience?

My parents are driving to Canada from Mexico and will be arriving here in a few days. I think a trip south for me would have been a better idea right now!







10 comments:

  1. How very lovely Ruth... I've never seen anything like that!

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  2. Oh, I just love Jacarandas! I livedd in Florida for 10 years. I missed the northern lilacs, but Jacarandas filled the need for lavendar LOL. My brother planted a few saplings in his yard - right before the three hurricanes, so they're gone.

    I used to collect their beautiful seed pods for use on my gourd artwork, too.

    Thanks for the Jacaranda fix.

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  3. Wow--driving from Mexico to Canada--now that's what I call a road trip. Traveling mercies to them.
    A jacaranda experience--you knew I would. Jacaranda trees at the first school I went to (Namwianga in then N. Rhodesia); jacaranda trees in Bulawayo, and at the mission in S. Rhodesia.
    My brother writes in his blog that Europeans settled southern Africa, they planted eucalyptus and jacaranda trees everywhere they went. Hence their ubiquity.

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  4. I've never seen anything even close to the beauty of that tree!

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  5. That flower strikes me as very familiar (perhaps I saw them last time I was in Mexico.)

    I love your Friday Flowers!

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  6. We had a jacaranda right by our house when I was growing up in Malaysia. That cloud of lavender-blue flowers was lovely when the tree was in bloom! Otherwise, though, the tree tended to look rather spindly.

    It was the flame of the forest trees (orange-red flowers) and golden shower trees that really caught my attention when they were in bloom.

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  7. The color is so striking. I'd love to view that from my house. I've never seen one before. And, yes, maybe you could have used the Mexican climate :o)

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  8. "... jacaranda en flor ..." Phrase from a song my kids used to sing in school back in Mexico. I never hear the word, without it bringing back the memory of driving over a hill in a Mexican spring-time and seeing a tiny village overshadowed by towering jacarandas in full bloom.

    Thanks for the reminder!

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  9. They are beautiful, but I think purple is my favorite color in flowers.

    Do they smell womderful, like I imagine?

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  10. Jayne- Hopefully you will see one someday!

    LauraO- I don't recall seeing the seed pods. Interesting. Lilacs are beautiful, but so short-lived

    KGMom- Yes, I knew you would have a recollection! I didn't realize they were planted by the Europeans in colonial Africa.
    My parents are in their mid-70s and this is a long drive. They are hoping we are done with the snow.

    Jaspenelle- Perhaps you did see them in Mexico in 2000. You were there earlier than the rest of us.

    Lynn- I have heard there are Jacaranda bonsai trees. That may be the best you will find in Minnesota ;)

    Ginger- I knew you would have seen these too. There are benefits of being MKs. I have a picture of an unidentified tree covered in bright yellow blossoms. I will have to look up golden shower trees.

    Mary- Ginger is right when she said the tree is rather spindly when not in bloom. And my mother had to work to keep the yard and driveway cleaned up as the falling petals were messy. They are beautiful to look at though.

    Wanderin' Weeta-

    Al Este y al Oeste llueve y lloverá
    una flor y otra flor silvestre
    del Jacarandá

    I almost put the words of this children's song in the post. It has many verses and I wonder if it is the one your children sang.
    The poorest Mexican villages look beautiful when adorned with bright flowers.

    Laura- They have a scent, but I wouldn't call it beautiful like a lilac is. Some people like it, others don't at all.

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