Purple Haze

Take a walk around your neighbourhood and spot the the burst of lilac and walk on the carpet of violet the jacarandas lay out for you.

By Raka Sarkhel.


Of my 28 years on earth, I have spent most of it (barring the last three months) in the northern hemisphere. Thus I am still acclimatising to the thoughts of a warm Christmas or an October of jacarandas. Back at home, the branches of these Latin American natives would bear flowers during March. However, the burst of lilac against teal blue skies is always a merry sight and should be allowed to blossom at will, irrespective of any particular month.

Jacaranda mimosifolia is regarded as an environmental weed in New South Wales and Queensland and was first recorded as becoming naturalised in Queensland in 19871. It has enchanted open woodlands and grasslands, occupying creekbanks and waterways in its wake. It is known to have seduced the soils of many-a foreign lands and is often envied by the native plants whose regeneration it prevents.


The trumpet-shaped lavender flower is told to bring luck to the passer-by on whom it falls. It arouses, excites and teases making you want to write a Keatsian ode to the jacaranda as you softly tread on the purple carpet it rolls out for you. The tree sheds its bipinnate leaves while it blooms, perhaps ensuring that the green does not interfere with its violet resplendence.

On grim or warm October days alike, that languorous purple haze peeping out of parks and lining the avenues of North Sydney draws all the attention to itself and beckons one to step outdoors and smell the spring in the air.


1. Weeds of Australia, Biosecurity Queensland Edition