Feel yourself falling into a purple sea of sensual color. Let its hue hypnotize and tantalize you. So here's the story. I must admit I haven't always been a fan of the brazilian Jacaranda mimosifolia but something has definitely changed my point of view. When I lived in Northern California, Jacarandas always seemed to struggle to grow, leaf out, and, if the weather was just right, flower. Then I moved to Los Angeles where the past winter was rather dry and the Jacarandas are well established. A few weeks ago, I didn't even notice the trees but then all of the sudden it was 'purple rain' in my neighborhood and all over L.A.. And I'm not just talking a light shower, I'm talking a delicious downpour of purple floral color that reminded me of the cherry blossom season in Japan.
This 'purple rain', as I call it, is the name I'm giving the spectacular bloom showing of the many Jacaranda mimosifolia trees here in L.A.. The extensive dry period we've experienced here has enticed these trees to bloom their hearts out and they've got my attention. Looking up into the Silver Lake hills you see a lush green canopy of trees dotted with colorful clouds of lilac purple paradise. The surrounding landscape has become transformed into something, as cheesy as it may sound to some, magical. Something about these trees and their bountiful blooms of beauty brings a slightly exotic vibe to the cosmopolitan countryside of eastside L.A. and I'm diggin' it!
My fellow Angelenos tell me this is an annual event that signifies that summer is kickin' it into high gear around these parts. I'm seasonally smitten. The deciduous/semi-evergreen Jacaranda mimosifolia around Silver Lake are majestic specimen trees with stately trunks and broad canopies designed to present an explosive carnival of color come late spring/early summer.
So what makes these trees so sumptuous? Well, they have fine fern-like foliage that appears soft yet sophisticated. They make unique wafer-like seed pods that remind me of clam shells clappin'. But their true gift is definitely their delicious display of 2 inch long, trumpet-like, powerfully paradisal purple flowers. Seeing them covering a tree canopy is like witnessing a 'purple rain'.
Jacaranda mimosifolia likes full sun, well-draining, sandy soil, regular water to establish, and is hardy down to around 20 degrees fahrenheit/-6 degrees celsius. These trees can get up to 40 feet tall and 30 feet wide over time. They like to grow in warm climates and attract the hummingbirds. Now, this tree may not be for everybody, but to witness it in all of its glory is truly a sight to see. It might even change your opinion. There's something about the power of its purpleness that can't be denied!