For a month near the end of spring the immaculate jacaranda tree #blesses the California landscape with a profusion of purple-petaled flowers that burst forth from its sprawling branches like a bewitching serenade from a chorus of sirens. And if you think a single word of that is hyperbole or that the language I’ve used is too flowery then you’ve clearly never laid eyes on the inspiring beauty that is the jacaranda.
Jacaranda? Never heard of it.
I take sincere pity on you and strongly encourage you to re-evaluate all of the decisions you’ve made in your life. A street lined with jacarandas in full bloom is a thing of pure beauty. Every single human needs to see it before they die. The jacaranda that we worship in southern California is actually called the blue jacaranda because of – you guessed it – its enthralling indigo hue. The jacaranda is immensely popular due to its hyper chromatic purple flowers that blossom in springtime. The flowers are trumpet-shaped and bloom in dense bunches. They give the tree its noteworthy saturated coloring. Jacarandas thrive in a tropical climate where there’s no risk of freezing temperatures. Although they have relatively thin trunks, the jacaranda is a full-bodied tree with a network of twisted branches that can reach upwards of 96 feet tall.
Where does this majestic tree come from?
Much like our love of tacos and our favorite soap operas, the blue jacaranda is native to Mexico, Central, and South America. And much like our other favorite American pastime, we’ve taken the jacaranda and claimed it as our own. Acclaimed horticulturalist Kate Sessions introduced the jacaranda in 1885 and it’s been gentrifying the SoCal landscape ever since. Southern California was not always home to tropical plants and trees. Sessions made it her life’s work to beautify the cities of Southern California with the most magnificent flowers and trees she could find. Although most of her work took place in San Diego, her influence impacted the entire region. She’s also responsible for introducing the iconic bougainvillea, which is as beautiful as it is difficult to pronounce (bo-gan-vee-ya). Thanks to her work the jacaranda is now the official (non-native) tree of San Diego! Quite the achievement.
Cool. But why does everyone in California worship them?
The jacaranda is to SoCal what autumn is to the rest of the country; it’s a fleeting period of beauty that makes everyone’s instagram feeds insufferable. They line entire city streets in SoCal and their blossoms give the entire region a psychedelic makeover. San Diego even has a Jacaranda Festival to honor its (non-native) city tree. Need more evidence that California has a passionate relationship with the jacaranda? Then check out this video of a man with severe volume control who’s made it his personal crusade to shame people for not appreciating jacarandas as much as they should. Now that’s a true Californian.
What does this have to do with furniture?
Absolutely nothing! But it has everything to do with California. And Apt2B has more California pride than an aspiring actress taking a photo of her avocado toast while stuck in traffic on the 405. One of our goals at Apt2B is to take the California mentality and apply it to our designs. The jacaranda is just one of the many things about California that inspires us to do what we do. Purple is even our color of the month! You can thank the jacaranda for that.
I have to see a jacaranda now – where’s the best place to see them?
If you’re in Los Angeles there are plenty of great places to catch sight of the jacarandas while they’re in bloom! We recommend starting at Griffith Observatory to get a glorious birds-eye-view of all the pockets of purple jacarandas throughout the city. Head south from Griffith and then go west on 3rd Street. You’ll see dozens of jacarandas as you drive through Hancock Park. Then cut down to Wilshire Boulevard for all the jacarandas along Miracle Mile. Once you hit Beverly Hills you can cruise around all the residential streets that they line. But you’d better hurry – jacaranda season is already nearing its end!
Love jacarandas as much as we do? Then leave us a comment to join in on the conversation!