Photography

Jacarandas

Is this a Pink Jacaranda?

There are several of these trees in the grounds of the Sunnyside Bowling Club and there is much dispute amongst the members as to whether or not this is actually a jacaranda at all. I have tried to gather photographic evidence to see which is true. For the purpose of this blog, I will refer to them as pink jacarandas.

The pink jacarandas are smallish trees (about 5m in height) with a relatively straight trunk. It flowers in early spring (late August, early September), compared to the normal (purple) jacaranda tree which flowers in early summer (late October, early November), but the blossoms make as much of a mess below the tree as a normal jacaranda. There are no leaves on the pink jacaranda during the onset of the flowering period.


Figure 1: A smallish compact tree with a fairly straight trunk.

The bark of the pink jacaranda is not as coarse as that of the normal jacaranda.


Figure 2a: The bark of the pink jacaranda.

Figure 2b: The bark of the normal jacaranda.

The seed pods are also very different. The pink jacaranda has a bean-like seed pod while the normal jacaranda has one which looks more like that of a combretum species.


Figure 3a: The seed pods of the pink jacaranda.

Figure 3b: The seed pods of the normal jacaranda.

During the second half of September, the pink jacaranda starts getting leaves while still in full flower. The leaves of the pink jacaranda bear no resemblance to the normal jacaranda


Figure 4a: The leaves of the pink jacaranda.

Figure 4b: The leaves of the purple jacaranda.

Here are closeups of a flower of the pink and purple jacarandas.

Differences that can easily be seen are:

  • The purple jacaranda has a saxophone-like bend to the flower while the pink jacaranda is straight;
  • the stamen of the purple jacaranda projects out of the flower, while that of the pink jacaranda is not visible;
  • the pink jacaranda has a yellow "landing strip" on the inside of the flower while the purple jacaranda is purple throughout.

Figure 5a: A flower of the pink jacaranda showing a straight body to the flower.

Figure 5b: A flower of the purple jacaranda showing a saxophone-like bend to the flower.

Figure 5c: A flower of the pink jacaranda showing the yellow "landing strip" and no visible stamens.

Figure 5d: A flower of the purple jacaranda showing the stamen protruding out of the flower and the uniform colour.

Purple Jacarandas

As mentioned earlier, the purple jacarandas flower in early summer and during this period, Pretoria is really pretty. Here are a few examples of the streets of Pretoria during the flowering season.


Purple jacarandas, Rigel Ave.

Purple jacarandas, Bootes St.

Purple jacarandas, Ormonde St.

Purple jacarandas, Arcadia

Purple jacarandas, Arcadia

Purple jacarandas, near Union Buildings

White Jacarandas

There are white jacarandas in Herbert Baker St in the Groenkloof suburb of Pretoria. These jacarandas flower at the same time as the purple jacarandas. Everything about the trees and flowers are identical to that of the purple jacaranda, except the colour of the flowers.

Unfortunately, it's not very easy to find parking on Herbert Baker St, so getting pics was a bit tricky. Also, most of the trees are not accessible from the road as they are on private property, behind fences.


White jacarandas, from one of the viewsites on Klapperkop. Notice the purple jacarandas as well.

White jacarandas in Herbert Baker St.

Another view of the white jacarandas in Herbert Baker St, with white rose-like flowers in the foreground.

A view of a white jacaranda tree in Herbert Baker St.

One of the flower clusters of a white jacaranda

For the sake of completeness, I have included some pics to compare the white jacaranda with the pink and purple jacarandas above.


The bark of the white jacaranda. Note the coarse texture.

A seed pod of the white jacaranda. Note the similarity to the seed pod of the purple jacaranda in figure 3b above.

A closeup of a flower of the white jacaranda showing the stamen protruding out of the flower, the uniform colour and the saxophone-like bend in the flower.