Sunday, November 1, 2009

Jacaranda on My Mind

You'll know it's spring in Sydney when the Jacaranda trees are flowering. I could see glorious display of blue/purple all over the suburb from our balcony. Aah....the blessing of living on the top floor.

Popped over to Wikipedia and found the following information.
"Several species are widely grown as ornamental plants throughout the subtropical regions of the world, valued for their intense flower displays. The most often seen is the Blue Jacaranda Jacaranda mimosifolia (syn. J. acutifolia hort. non Bonpl.).
Pretoria in South Africa is popularly known as The Jacaranda City due to the enormous number of Jacaranda trees planted as street trees and in parks and gardens. In flowering time the city appears blue/purple in colour when seen from the nearby hills because of all the Jacaranda trees. The time of year the Jacarandas bloom in Pretoria coincides with the year-end exams at the University of Pretoria and legend has it that if a flower from the Jacaranda tree drops on your head, you will pass all your exams. Other towns and cities in South Africa have Jacaranda trees, but none produce such a show as that of Pretoria.
The city of Brisbane, Australia has a local reputation of having a significant population of Jacaranda trees. The University of Queensland in the city's inner west has a very high concentration of the tree, and due to the impressive display of purple flowers in mid-Spring, which wind up littering vast sections of the suburbs, local folklore claims that "one won't start studying for exams until the jacarandas have molted". At Sydney University there exists a similar expression "by the time the jacaranda in the main quadrangle flowers, it's too late to start studying for exams".
This has led to the slang name "exam tree" or "purple panic" being attached to the plant. At the University of Queensland students even maintain a joke superstition that if a Jacaranda bloom falls on their head during exam time, they will fail an exam. The bad luck can be broken by catching another bloom before it hits the ground.
The reason for the Jacaranda's proliferation in Brisbane is often attributed to the thirties and forties, when new mothers leaving the maternity hospital were given a jacaranda sapling to plant.
Jacarandas in bloom have become closely associated with Brisbane and South East Queensland. The Brisbane City Council have used jacarandas to line avenues, and commercial developments in some areas, particularly along the Brisbane River have incorporated jacarandas into their landscape design. The trees are common in parks throughout the city, most notably in a long curved avenue in New Farm Park, in Goodna, and in private gardens. Brisbane's hilly geography allows views of the city and suburbs in which the brightly coloured flowers can be easily seen for miles. The jacaranda has become so much a part of the city's identity that contemporary art, particularly of streetscapes, often incorporates the flowering jacaranda, despite the fact that it only flowers for approximately six weeks from September through October.
The city of Grafton on the north coast of New South Wales, Australia, is also famous for its Jacarandas. Every October the city has a Jacaranda festival during the period of full bloom. A street parade, local public holiday and a series of events are held. A local public holiday sees the city's businesses perform street theatre for passers by and street stalls proliferate. A Jacaranda Queen and Jacaranda Princess are named at a formal ball.
The tree canopies in some of Sydney's north shore and harbour suburbs in the east have a dominant purple glow during late spring."


Well, Mama's not planning to take me to Grafton for the Jacaranda Festival. However, we were able to take some photographs in the grounds of Sydney University last weekend as Mama was there attending a business course. Enjoy the view.

A majestic and glorious specimen standing tall in front of the Student Union's Building.

Purple blooms against blue sky....what a sight.

Fallen blossoms were all over the pavements too.

Look at the centre - those are the much "feared" Jacaranda at the main quadrangle.

I feel like frolicking among those fallen blossoms...come join me.

28 comments:

Cheqna said...

aaahhh...beautiful time...

Happy frolicking!

:-)

Naz said...

Beautiful! Beautiful!
It's the kind of thing that makes one turn super artistic and creative suddenly.
*where's the brush?* ;D

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Cheqna,
It is very beautiful now. Come on, buy that ticket! purrr....meow!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Aunty Naz,
Not just jacanda blooms, peaches have been appearing at fruit shops now...yummm....definitely my favourite time of the year. Brush? We prefer the digital kind. purrr...meow!

Pi Bani said...

So, has any flower from the Jacaranda tree drop on your head? In case you want to sit for any exams...

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Aunty Pi,
Mama has asked me to read and memorise her new do's and don't's list. Does that count as an exam? We love playing with the fallen blooms though. They are very fragrant...nice! meow!

~Covert_Operations'78~ said...

The jacarandas in bloom look wonderful, kitties! Do they smell as good as they look? Do you know that one of the clubs the Beatles started playing in was the Jacaranda Club, in Slater Street, Liverpool? And the Beatles performed a song called "Three Cool Cats"! That would have to be you -- Angelina, Brad and Tom!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

CO78,
Surely am too young to remember Beatles? heheheh...
Three Cool Cats - that will be you, me and my Mama! meow!

Cheqna said...

nowdays always checking tickets on offer to KT only..hehe..

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Cheqna,
You no fun-lah! Cross the oceans and come see me. purrr....

masterwordsmith said...

What a beautiful time!! I can imagine your lovely feline darlings running around or touring the place in beautiful cat baskets! Have a lovely time and peace be unto you and yours always.

Cat-in-Sydney said...

O Wise Master,
We want you to frolick with us too and get all purple-stained. hehehe...meow!

anneaziz said...

Hmmm the jacaranda is so beautiful. You know something cat? Malaysia will not be outdone. In a few short weeks the Lagerstromia Speciosa will also be in full bloom. Together with the Tabebuaia sp, both are among the most beautiful flowering tropical trees.

But Lagerstromia is seen mostly in the northern region of Malaysia because it grows well in tropical monsoon areas.

Come frolic with Bruce when the jacaranda no longer blooms.

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Cat-in-Sydney said...

Aunty Anne,
Lagerstromia speciosa? That's what the locals call "Bungor" right? Why can't they coin a better name for such gorgeous blooms? And Tabebuaia sp doesn't even have a local name.
Anyway, we can frolick together anytime. Even under the lemon tree...purrr....meow!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Hi Zar of My Sunshine,
Will pay you a visit soon. purrr....meow!

~Covert_Operations'78~ said...

Dear smart kitties,

The Tabebuaia is sometimes referred to as the 'local Sakura' or the 'Penang Cherry Blossoms'.

Cat-in-Sydney said...

CO78,
We beg to differ. What is known as local Sakura is actually the pink Lagerstromia, better known as crepe myrtle elsewhere. Penang Cherry Blossom? That's new. How long has that name been used? The Tabebuaia flowers unfortunately don't resemble cherry blossoms at all. Definitely a misnomer. Mama's first job was at the forest research institute....hence our "knowledge". purrr....

~Covert_Operations'78~ said...

Dear Kitties,

Please forgive me for the error! My flower-loving friend told me that there is yellow Tabebuaia and pink Tabebuaia, and the pink blooms look like cherry blossoms when they fall. Apparently there is a whole street of it in Penang. Maybe we got the info wrong!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

CO78,
From Jacaranda to Tabebuaia, what a conversation we're having. Anyway, would love to frolick with you on that street in Penang. Who knows...someday....meow!

anneaziz said...

Cat/ CO78

Betul...the locals know Lagerstromia as bungor and the name simply doesn't do justice to the tree and the flowers. When in full bloom, the really heavily flowering tree would shed almost all of its leaves. Lagerstromia is also known as crepe flower.

CO78 may have something there cos from what I read Tabebuia may be white, pink, lavender, purple, red and yes, yellow! (though I've yet to see the yellow). The flowers are trumpet shaped.

Cat, I'm sure..jacaranda, lagerstromia or Tabebuia, beautiful as the flowers are, the trees make great scratching posts!

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Cat, I have always loved this tree. I remember school days would draw or paint this tree as we had on in our school garden. Really beautiful tree too.
Interesting post, never knew its widely grown where you are.

By the way, I read, heard Australia growing lots of durians and exporting then....to Malaysia?
Here we get ours from Thailand.
G'day to you, Lee.

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Aunty Anne,
Natural scratching posts they are. Would be very different compared to our cat tree, eh? Come cherry picking with us soon, very soon....purrr.....meow!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Uncle Lee,
So far we've only seen rambutan from Northern Territory but no durian yet. The shops here only sell either Thailand or Malaysian durian. Cats don't eat durian though...hehehe...Mama only eat the real thing - when she goes back home. purrr.....

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Cat, Daun kaduk bahan kerabu,
Kelapa parut jadi sambalnya,
Sayang ayah kasih Ibu.
Segedung emas bukan nilainnya.

Have a great weekend, Lee.

Andrea Wh@tever said...

Purrrr.. How I love the colours of spring. It's like the whole place is a riot of colours on Nature's canvas -- achhhooooo! hay fever time, too!

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Uncle Lee,
Wow! Got pantun melayu. I'm impressed....purrr....

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Andrea dear,
Hayfever? No worries mate. There's Telfast, Zyrtec etc etc...would love to frolick in the haystack with you...purrr....meow!