Sea of purple!

jakarandaIt’s October and summer is fast approaching in South Africa. It feels absolutely wonderful! Even in South Africa it gets really cold in the winter and without any form of insulation in the houses, you never truly escape the cold. Wrapped in the blanket becomes a normal state…

But now winter seems far away, we’re back to skirt and tank top and right now Johannesburg is also graced with flowering Jacaranda trees. These are quite large trees with dark trunk and the flowers are beautifully purple. Along with many cerise bougainvillea bushes they transform Johannesburg into a beautiful sea of colour. Pretoria has even more Jacaranda trees than Johannesburg, between 40 000 and 70 000 trees, hence its nickname, The Jacaranda City.

Interestingly, the Jacaranda trees are not indigenous to South Africa. They were imported from South America in the 1880s, but due to the large number of trees they have become something of a South African icon.

The South African government has quite recently passed new laws to try to bring down the number of invasive species and to ensure the survival of native species. Jacaranda trees fall into this category, but fortunately they are not in the group of plants that need to be removed. However, no new trees are allowed to be planted, so if existing trees die they can’t be replaced. So let’s hope all the Jacaranda trees here in the area will survive for many generations!