As October awakens spring in the southern hemisphere, south africans will all agree that the “rainbow nation” has entered its most beautiful season. In its administrative capital, Pretoria, and its largest city, Johannesburg, the city is dressed up as a purple “romantic wonderland” by tens of thousands of jacaranda trees.
South Africa is located in the south of the continent, in late September the climate warmer, people will be looking forward to a spring rain, the sun shines after rain, Pretoria, nearly 70000 strains jacaranda blossom, the whole city was of the flowers such as surrounded by a cloud of blue purple, once again prove themselves “jacaranda city” title, and flowering lasts for about eight weeks.
In Johannesburg, 58 kilometers away, where temperatures are about 3 degrees Celsius cooler than Pretoria because of the plateau, jacaranda trees bloom a few weeks later. At its peak, some jacaranda trees, more than 10 meters high on either side of the street, form an “archway” with purple petals scattered on the ground and a golden glow falling through the branches in the evening. The color saturation is just right, like a “dream corridor” only seen in cartoons.
The jacaranda tree’s name comes from the guarani language of South America, meaning “fragrant,” so it’s an alien to South Africa. In the late 19th century, saplings were brought back from Brazil and planted in Pretoria. But in 2001 the South African government declared jacaranda the “third invasive species” because they were so ecologically invasive that they were replacing some native species. But the locals loved the flowers so much that they came up with a compromise: no new jacaranda trees were allowed and no new ones were allowed when the old ones died.
Although the purple landscape seems to be fading every year, the trees will survive for at least another 100 years without affecting South Africa’s continuing love affair. Jacaranda has become an important part of Pretoria’s urban culture, with an annual jacaranda festival that includes music festivals, flea markets and local radio stations named after it.
Jacaranda opened during the “exam season” in South Africa and was “enchanted” by local students. There is a saying going around the university of Pretoria that if jacaranda petals fall on your head while you are preparing for an exam, you will pass all the exam subjects. Another rule is that if you haven’t started studying for an exam, by the time the streets turn purple, it’s too late.
In addition to good luck, the jacaranda tree is considered a symbol of wisdom, wealth and rebirth. “Those moments under the jacaranda tree were the happiest of the trials,” nelson mandela wrote in his autobiography, “long walk to freedom,” recalling his years of trial. He mentioned the plant again in his inaugural address on 10 May 1994, “each of us is intimately connected to the soil of this beautiful country, like the jacaranda tree in Pretoria”.
White jacaranda trees are indeed rare and sterile, meaning they cannot reproduce. Dozens of white jacaranda trees can be found lined up along Herbert Baker Street on the outskirts of Pretoria, as well as purple varieties intermingled. After all, there are many kinds of trees with white flowers, and they are not clustered together.
Besides jacaranda, the flowers in other parts of South Africa are well worth a look in the spring. The road from Cape Town to garden avenue, for example, offers a view of large fields of rape flowers in August, and a view of pure open fields where one can wander in a sea of golden flowers. If you go west to the Atlantic coast, in the namaqualand belt, the colorful wild flowers blooming in the desert will be another wonderful scene, just like the magnificent carpet woven for the earth. However, it is necessary to keep an eye on the weather, because the time of flowering is very dependent on rainfall and sunshine, and it is very easy to leave the sky after a long journey. You can pay attention to the information of the local tourism website in August and September every year, and prepare and design the route in advance.