Friday, May 7, 2010

Jacaranda

A friend of mine had a business trip to Nepal and stayed in a hotel in the capital. The hotel looks like a resort with a lot of beautiful trees and plants. I saw its website and found out such beautiful blossoming trees with purple flowers (I called vilolet). I asked my friend to take a photo of the trees for me and thanks to the internet I got the picture quickly stored in my laptop. But at first I did not know the name of the tree and unexpectedly my friend told me it was called jacaranda. (Unexpectedly because when we are in a foreign country, difficult for us to know the name of unfamiliar trees and flowers). And thanks again the internet, it took me a few seconds to see so many pictures of jacaranda flowers and now I know that this tree is popular in South America (especially Brazil), Central America, Mexico and the Carribean and you can see it in Australia, India and Buhtan as well and in Vietnam they grow jacaranda in Da Lat (they call it phuong tim). In many parts of the world, such as Mexico, Los Angeles, Lisbon, and Zimbabwe the blooming of this tree is welcomed as a sign of spring. But it Vietnam as a sign of summer.

I visited en.Wikipedia and wanted to cite the following information:

Pretoria in South Africa is popularly known as The Jacaranda City due to the enormous number of Jacaranda trees planted as street trees and in parks and gardens. In flowering time the city appears blue/purple in colour when seen from the nearby hills because of all the Jacaranda trees. The time of year the Jacarandas bloom in Pretoria coincides with the year-end exams at the University of Pretoria and legend has it that if a flower from the Jacaranda tree drops on your head, you will pass all your exams. Other towns and cities in South Africa have Jacaranda trees, but none produce such a show as that of Pretoria.
The city of Ipswich, Australia has a local reputation of having a significant population of Jacaranda trees. The University of Queensland in the city's inner west has a very high concentration of the tree, and due to the impressive display of purple flowers in mid-Spring, which wind up littering vast sections of the suburbs, local folklore claims that "one won't start studying for exams until the jacarandas have moulted". At Sydney University there exists a similar expression "by the time the jacaranda in the main quadrangle flowers, it's too late to start studying for exams".
This has led to the slang name "exam tree" or "purple panic" being attached to the plant. At the University of Queensland students even maintain a joke superstition that if a Jacaranda bloom falls on their head during exam time, they will fail an exam. The bad luck can be broken by catching another bloom before it hits the ground.


Interesting, isn't it? I also found in the internet a sad poem in Vietnamese about young lovers. How romantic to walk under purple jacanda trees with our beloved. I am not a poet but still feel the beauty of jacaranda, something fragile, dreaming, sad, lonely ...