On our arrival to Johannesburg at the end October we were welcomed by the most beautiful flowering trees we have ever seen, the Jacarandas. Their shimmering purple petals give Johannesburg this wonderful glow and I found myself enchanted by their beauty over and over again.
View from my office of the Jacarandas dusting the Jo’burg skyline
These trees are not native to South Africa, but were in fact imported from South America in the 1880’s. Since these are considered an invader species, it is illegal to plant these trees, however the existing ones are allowed to stay.
Lone Jacaranda on the golf course in front of my office
Pretoria (less than an hour north of Johannesburg) is known as the Jacaranda City with somewhere between 40-70,000 trees in the city. Jacarandas bloom only for about 8 weeks during October and November and people come from all over the world to see them. Knowing time was of the essence, we headed up to Pretoria the second weekend of November and alas, we were already a bit too late and the flowers were on their way out.
View from the Union Buildings
We headed to the Union Buildings which are said to have the best view in Pretoria. You cannot enter the buildings but there is a beautiful garden overlooking the city which is free to enter (I will do a later post about the rest of our visit).
At the Union Buildings
We were a bit disappointed that we missed the height of the bloom but we will be sure to go back earlier next year.
Streets of Pretoria
Fallen Jacaranda petals create a sparkling carpet of violet
The next afternoon back in Jozi we decided to explore the Bohemian-esque neighborhood of Melville and much to my delight we hit the Jacaranda Jackpot.
Jacarandas in Melville
Jacaranda trees in full bloom lined both sides of the streets creating a canopy of violet in this picturesque suburb near the center of Jo’burg.
Jacarandas mixed with purple Bougainvillea in Melville
Bougainvillea and Jacarandas mixed for an explosion of color
It is now mid-December when I am finally getting around to writing this blog post and the Jacarandas are long gone, but I look forward to next October when these lovely trees will once again sparkle all over Jozi.
Jacaranda petals carpet the streets