I have been waiting very impatiently for an important event here in Johannesburg – the blooming of the Jacarandas. These trees are scattered across the city, and every October they erupt in blossoms, turning Joburg into a purple wonderland. Jacaranda’s are not a native African tree, but their surprising beauty has become a symbol for the city.I saw my first purple buds a couple of weeks ago, and ever since have been on the hunt for the perfect Jacaranda scene. I pictured a quiet street where the tangles of tree limbs arch over the road in perfect symmetry, creating a complete canopy of lilac.

I crisscrossed the northern suburbs for weeks but never found that “perfect” street. I was beginning to get frustrated at Mother Nature for being a rude tease, but Spencer convinced me to give our own neighborhood a second chance. I’m glad he did. With camera in hand, we combed the streets of Westcliff, and while the blooms here were a bit patchy, they were still beautiful.img_2900 Down the quiet streets of Westcliff, the gnarly tree branches create magic, lilac-tinged passageways as fluttering purple petals fall into puddles on the roads.IMG_2879.jpgOur camera skills are amateur at best, so these photos don’t come even close to capturing the dainty beauty of these trees. Still, here are a few more favorites.


Ironically, this symbol of the city has been declared an invasive species and it is now illegal to plant them. I’m glad I got to see them in their full glory, and I am actually happy I never found the picture perfect Jacaranda street I had dreamed of. It makes a nice metaphor for Joburg as a whole. The city is not the prettiest at first glance, but with some searching and an open heart, there is so much beauty to find in Johannesburg.






6 thoughts on “Jacarandas

  1. Wait a week or so. Some streets in Saxonwold or Melrose will blow you away.
    Just be careful though, after the rains. Hitting the brakes on mushy jacaranda blooms can be a scary experience!


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