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They are water-guzzling aliens

November 8, 2021

Imported to Mzansi in the 1880s we have grown to love them so much. We love our aliens and we are not willing to part with them.

Yesterday I woke up to cool soft- drizzly morning. Outside my window, I was looking at a morning that beckoned me to slip out of bed, stretch and take a walk after a perky cup of coffee in the hope that the sun would at some point show it’s face. With that lovely thought in mind, not too far off, I was gifted with this pretty flower that weaved a carpet all along my driveway.

Not native to South Africa, the Jacaranda flower has a dangerously romantic botanical affair with Mzansi.

With the drenching summer rain comes the fall of glorious purple flower. Last Spring for some reason I didn’t see this purple flooding my driveway and I had no idea how my path was strewn in purple confetti. It took a while to locate the Jacaranda tree from the neighbour’s garden in between all the other trees growing there.

I was not complaining and gently thanked the wind and the rain through the night for assisting them to decorate my driveway on this first Sunday Morning in November. The children and even the dogs were in awe of the overnight transformation to our driveway.

I believe that in South Africa the flowers don’t only come in purple. They’ve been selectivy bred in white. These ones are rare and their seeds are apparently sterile. 

Because they are alien plants, jacarandas are harmful to the South African environment and eco-system. It has therefore been made illegal to plant new trees. But since they can apparently live for up to two centuries, we can comfortably rest easy knowing it will be a while before our precious trees disappear. That’s if my neighbor doesn’t decide otherwise.

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  1. don’t the trees themselves produce new trees?

    • Yes I would think so. But we are not allowed to propogate them or plant any new trees.

      • but if they do manage to have babies, they won’t die out, right? 🙂

      • They have a vigorous root system, so no they won’t.
        We need special permission to plant a jacaranda.

  2. A beautiful reflection. The flowers are beautiful and remind me of flowers where I grew up. Maybe not the same. Unsure. A lovely post, Abi.

    • Thank you so much Jeff.
      Amazing tree, our country fell in love with them. When the jacaranda flower blooms and falls people actually rush to have their photos taken under the tree. The avenues look like a purple autumn in Spring here in Mzansi. Fascinating things can happen in this eccentric
      Warms my heart that you like it.❤

      • Most welcome, Abi. Always. Ah, they are beautiful. I remember them being all laid out on the ground when I was a child. I loved that. Beautiful. Have a lovely day, my friend. ❤️

  3. Ahhh, just checked. The jacaranda are all over Los Angeles. Makes sense. ☺️

    • Oh yes I can well imagine that they grow there. Although our jacaranda came to settle in the highveldt moreso in Pretoria and Johannesburg. They were brought in from Argentina. So it makes sense that they would flourish your side of the world to.
      I sometimes wonder if our Jacarandas miss home over the centuries even though they settled in quite nicely and comfortably 😄

      • Ahhh, I see. Indeed. They aren’t where I live now, yet in LA, they are everywhere. Climate, I guess. Comfortable indeed ☺️

  4. Yes, i think if one do a quick search i can imagine that they have an avenue to themselves all over the world 😊

  5. Jacarandas remind me of lilacs a bit.

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