by germinatrix | June 18th, 2009
The other day I was driving around Los Angeles, running errands, and I realized that the Jacarandas were in bloom.
What? I can’t believe I had been running around not noticing that these majestic beauties were in spectacular flower? (hey, Monrovia – have you ever thought of naming a shrub or tree ‘Majestic Beauty’? Oh – yeah … I guess you’ve done that a few dozen times) Where is my head? I’m constantly looking at plants – in gardens, in yards, in parks, in nurseries, on meridians, on the sides of freeways… how could I miss the incredible periwinkle/violet haze that floats around the city from mid-May to late June? And I went back into my Domino blog archive and noticed that I’ve NEVER posted about them.
Jacarandas are special. They hail from the Argentina and Brazil, and you can tell … this tree looks like it would be equally at home in the jungle or on the pampas. And what a looker! No other tree blooms this color – a luminous light purple that can look almost blue in certain light. They are always in bloom for Mother’s Day. Isn’t that lovely? A giant sidewalk bouquet!
I understand Australia has a particular love affair with Jacaranda mimosifolia – it’s said that certain cities look purple from a distance when the trees are in flower. WOW! I’d love to see that! Does anybody want to send a Germinatrix to Australia? Anyone? Hello?
There is another foxy tree blooming like a prom queen right now – but rather than the elegant, uber-feminine style of the Jacaranda, the Palo Verde (this one looks like Cercidium ‘Desert Museum’ to me) is the super cool alternative prom queen, all angles and linear foliage, green bark and electric yellow flowers. I’m always thrilled when I see this tree, and surprised that it isn’t used more in Los Angeles, since it is the perfect choice for chic, arid plantings. This is a tree I want in my garden – if only I had room!
What am I talking about – a gorgeous tree under 40′? There is ALWAYS room for that!