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Brisbane Jacaranda Season Is Here

The Jacarandas are blooming early this year. Typically the Brisbane Jacaranda season is towards the end of October through to late November but a wet winter has given them a head start. From pale mauve to brightest ultra violets, the city is awash with a purple haze.

Brisbane Jacaranda Season - jacarandas in bloom with the Brisbane CBD in the background

Despite what many think, Jacarandas are not native to Australia. They come from Brazil but are well suited to Australia’s tropical and temperate climates. Jacarandas arrived on the local flora scene circa the late 1870’s. There are several species in Australia, the most common one being Jacaranda Mimiosifolia. Regardless of the tree being an introduced species, locals have embraced Jacarandas into their hearts. They line suburban streets, creating carpets of purple flowers in parks across the city. One of the most popular paintings in the Queensland Art Gallery’s collection is ‘Under The Jacaranda’ by R. Godfrey Rivers. It depicts Rivers and Miss Selena Bell taking tea under a Jacaranda in full bloom in the Brisbane Botanic (City) Gardens in 1903. It was believed to have been the first Jacaranda grown in Australia and remained in the gardens until 1979, when it as blown over during a storm. The painting is so popular that you can buy an array of merchandise including the ubiquitous tea towel and postcard.

1903 Painting from the QAGOMA collection of a couple taking tea under a tree during Brisbane Jacaranda Season

Under the Jacaranda 1903 |  R Godfrey Rivers | Oil on canvas | Collection: Queensland Art Gallery

Jacaranda Folklore
Brisbane Jacaranda season has a whiff of foreboding about it. There is a saying “As Jacarandas bloom, exams start soon”. There is also the ominous warning about blooming Jacarandas and heavy grey skies meaning it’s too late for uni students to open their books and start studying. Superstition holds that if a Jacaranda bloom falls on a student’s head, they will fail exams. Similar stories occur in South Africa where the Jacarandas bloom at the same time of year. They are a little more optimistic in saying that a bloom falling on the head means an exam pass.

The heavy skies of stormy November have yet to arrive which means the Jacaranda blooms are still on the trees. This is the perfect time to go for a walk and enjoy the clouds of purple blooming in your suburb.

Brisbane Jacaranda Season with jacrandas blooming in a park

Top Locations – Brisbane Jacaranda Season

  • New Farm Park – the most well known location for Jacarandas. Dozens of trees and thick drifts of fallen flowers.
  • Queensland University, St Lucia – there’s a reason why uni students are so fixated on these trees
  • City Botanic Gardens – contains some of the oldest trees in Brisbane if not Australia
  • Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens – an enormous collection of trees amassed in purple splendour
  • Jacaranda Park, Yeronga – need I say more?
Brilliant purple jacarandas in bllom against grey Brisbane skies

8 comments… add one
  • Tony O October 12, 2016, 7:50 am

    Even now, so many years after finishing uni, I can’t completely enjoy the sight of Jacarandas blooming. A nameless dread gnaws at my guts when I catch that flash of purple in my peripheral vision.

  • Sherry from sherryspickings October 12, 2016, 8:13 am

    Aren’t they glorious? We went down to Grafton a few years ago for the Jacaranda Festival it was so beautiful Such beautiful flowers and of course purple is my favourite Sadly we had a Jacaranda cut down recently that was growing just near our driveway it was lifting up all the pavers and creating Mayhem so the council cut it down. I will sorely miss all the beautiful carpet of flowers out the front.

    • Fiona Ryan October 13, 2016, 3:11 pm

      They are fabulous. No matter how many times you take a photo, you always want to take another. Most of the jacarandas in the Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens are cuttings from the original that blew down.

  • Tandy I Lavender and Lime October 12, 2016, 1:57 pm

    I grew up in an area full of jacaranda trees. They are the only alien species we don’t have to cut down.

    • Fiona Ryan October 13, 2016, 3:12 pm

      Oh… when you say ‘don’t have to cut down’, is there a program for removing introduced species? There are so many in Australia that if we removed them all, we’d almost be treeless!

  • Joy @MyTravelingJoys October 17, 2016, 9:19 pm

    Absolutely beautiful trees! I saw them for the first time when we went to Perth in spring last year. Thanks for sharing!

    • Fiona Ryan October 19, 2016, 10:26 am

      It’s a wonderful sight at his time of year as you arrive home from somewhere and look out the window of the plane and see the city awash with purple. It tells you that you’re home.

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