The Fragrant Jacaranda Trees of Pretoria

Word goes between the South African students that when the fragrant Jacaranda trees bloom in Pretoria it is time to start studying for the end of year exams…

The Fragrant Jacaranda Trees of Pretoria, Hill Street, Hatfield

They are in flower nowadays and this week we happened to drive along some pretty dressed up streets in Pretoria.

The Fragrant Jacaranda Trees of Pretoria – and their bitter-sweet story

The fragrant Jacaranda trees with their purple – blue flowers (they can bloom white buds too) are not indigenous to South Africa, but were imported from South America (namely Argentina and Brazil) around 1880.

Jacaranda means fragrant in the Tupi–Guarani dialect of South America. The Tupi–Guarani were the very first tribe to come in contact with the Europeans who joined Christopher Columbus in his travels. Sadly, the European ways imposed on them and probably the Jesuit invasion that followed forced hundreds of Guarani men, women and children to commit suicide. The Tupi are the Indian peoples living in the valleys of Brazilian rivers, especially the Amazon.

The Fragrant Jacaranda Trees of Pretoria

And a pawpaw for Halloween

Squarres Photography

The Fragrant Jacaranda Trees of Pretoria is my contribution to Becky’s incredible October Squares #KindaSquare blog feature. Do have a look 🙂

24 Replies to “The Fragrant Jacaranda Trees of Pretoria”

  1. Oh Pat, Although I only lived near Pretoria for 4 years and rarely went into the city, your photos make me homesick. Growing up in Salisbury, Rhodesia, I remember the carpets of mauve flowers that lined the streets when Jacarandas were in flower. Looking at your photos, I can hear the popping sound the flowers made when cars drove over them.

    1. Goodness, Peter, sorry to hear that. I know just what you mean. Linden trees have this effect on me. Lilac blooms too – both something one doesn’t find in South Africa.
      Sights, scents and sounds hold more memories than we care to admit. And good memories are often overwhelming.
      Thank you for visiting 🙂

  2. What you write about students in the highveld and their relationship to jacarandas – truth! Even though I was a student at WITS in Jozy I know exactly what you mean. Man, I’m missing those lilac streets (not so much the exams, though). Thanks for sharing.

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