Jacarandas in brilliant purple bloom are a sign of spring. In Southern California, where we tend to warm up a little quicker than other parts of the country, Jacarandas in bloom mean summer is around the corner. For the past few weeks every time I look down a street all I see are full purple blooms. The horn shaped flowers are a bright lavender color, sometimes with blue hues, which arrive in May and last into June.
There’s nothing like looking down a side street and seeing most of the neighborhood shaded by purple blooms. Many stand in parks provide shade up from above and flowers for play down below. Driving the overpasses of the 5 freeway looking down onto Santa Ana, Orange and Anaheim, Jacarandas are bright spots of purple between the green of other trees and grey of concrete buildings.
I love seeing the purple blooms every year, breaking up the monotony of green and grey that is so common in cities and suburbs. I may also like them so much because I don’t actually have a Jacaranda at home, or even on my street. The purple flowers, while beautiful up in the branches of the Jacaranda eventually fall. The blooms create a mess at the base of the tree, which may include parked cars seeking shade, that can be slippery as well as smelly.