Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Jacarandas on Parade
This array of flower splendor is no more evident than along a mile long arbor on Del Mar Boulevard in Pasadena, California. Pasadena may be the 'Rose City,' but in May of each year, it arrays itself in purplish blue flowers.
A South American native tree purportedly first imported by early leaders of the Los Angeles Arboretum to test flowering trees that could adapt to Southern California's climate, the jacarandas are found throughout the Los Angeles area and provide welcome bursts of color that announce spring has arrived.
As a transplant to Southern California myself, I quickly developed a strong affinity for the jacaranda, since my favorite flower is the purple lilac, which does not grow well in this climate. Yet every spring I can count on two weeks of purple color bursts, thanks to the majestic jacaranda tree.
Yes, I know it's not a native tree. Yes, I know that its flowers create a big mess when they drop.
But I don't care because more than any other plant or tree, the jacaranda truly announces that spring has arrived. And to see them at their best, there is no better place than along Del Mar Boulevard between Lake Avenue and the Arroyo Seco Parkway. Not a Pasadenan? Hop on the Gold Line, get off at the Del Mar station, and walk/bicycle a few short blocks to see these beauties. Hurry...take that stroll or drive before the flower show is over.