At this time of year, Brisbane turns purple with Jacaranda flowers and you’ll find some walking paths carpeted with fallen blossoms.
I recently did a ballon flight with Balloons Over Brisbane and from above you really appreciate how many of these beautiful trees have been planted in Brisbane.
Jacarandas originated in Brazil, but they grow well in Brisbane’s sub-tropical climate. It’s believed that Australia’s first Jacaranda was planted in 1864 in Brisbane’s City Botanic Gardens. It grew to a height of 34 metres and was 27 metres across, but was blown over in a storm 116 years later.
One of the Queensland Art Gallery’s most popular paintings is Under the Jacaranda which depicts this famous tree.
Brett Whiteley’s Wynne Prize-winning painting The Jacaranda Tree (On Sydney Harbour) sold for a record-breaking $1,982,000 in 1999.
In the 1930s and 40s, new mothers in Brisbane were sent home from hospital, not only with their new baby, but also a young Jacaranda tree. This may explain the number of these trees in Brisbane.
University students in Brisbane know that when the Jacaranda blooms, it’s time to start studying for exams. The story goes that if a Jacaranda flower drops on your head, you’ll do badly in your exam. To reverse your fortune, you must catch a bloom, in your right hand, before it falls to the ground.
As you can see from this photo, possums also enjoy Jacaranda flowers. This possum made a meal of the Jacaranda blooms in my backyard.
Take a walk along the Brisbane River’s waterside paths and you’ll see purple splashes of colour during your stroll.