Meet the Trees – The Jacaranda



“I remember what it was like to drive on the streets beneath the jacarandas where the tar was carpeted in soft purple trumpet-shaped fallen flowers. If your car tyres crushed them from just the right angle, the trapped air in their bases would escape with a glorious popping sound. It was like driving through a giant bowl of Rice Krispies.”
Jacaranda mimosifolia

This magnificent South American tree was first brought to South Africa in 1880 to add a splash of ornamental colour to the dusty palette of the savannah. It has flourished along the streets and in the gardens of the older suburbs of Johannesburg, and has entirely colonised Tswane (often referred to as ‘jacaranda city’). It’s considered an invasive species, which means we’re not allowed to plant any new ones, but the rich blue-purple canopies still serve as a reminder that elements brought in and transplanted from far-off lands only add to what makes South Africa uniquely South African.

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