Purple Panic. This is the colloquial expression for the time that Jacarandas are in flower in Brisbane and the explanation is simple. The trees flower just as the exams start in schools and universities and students are all panicking in the lead up to this stressful time. The months are late September and October and perhaps a little of November.
That is however where the this image must be left, because the exams take place and the students, usually get by, but for the rest of us, the trees give us joy year in year out and their blooming is the miracle of spring to turn our world purple for a short while.
So for all the population not under threat of exams let me urge you to head out, whether by car or by ferry to New Farm Park and take a stroll in the gardens and to do this now. Why now? Because the gardens are at their bluest against a dark sky, when they are magnificent and magical. On a sunny day the blue turns to a brighter purple, no less dramatic in the clear light.
Or head to the Botanic Garden in the City where Walter Hill planted the first one as early as 1864, and see them in bloom there.
If you are in Mount Coot- tha go to the Botanical Gardens there and search for the Jacaranda trees.
The Universtity of Queensland in St Lucia is another favourite place to see them in flower.
And if you visit the Roma St Parklands you should look out for White Jacaranda Avenue because there is such a variety and it can be found planted there.
Jacarandas were trees imported from South America. They took to the hot and humid climate of Queensland like ducks to water, so much so that recently someone described the spread of the tree as bordering on weed status. I can hardly believe it, and there is a sharp intake of breath on hearing this as for me they are, like quadongs, the colours of nature, least expected, but hugely admired.
The image of trees against the skyline and fallen blossoms turning the roads and grass verges purple makes me want to stop and take yet another picture of this transformational canvas of nature.