PURPLE sheets of petals, cascades of mauve and blue — it truly is a time to romance the big beautiful Blue Jacaranda in city.
After all, it’s not everyday one gets to witness a slice of Brazil and Argentina in full bloom in the city.
That’s right!! In the exotic collection of avenue ornamental trees in Chandigarh, the Blue Jacaranda or Neeli Gulmohur as it’s fondly known in these parts, is a native of Brazil and North West Argentina. In fact, in Brazil, its wood is used to make guitars and so breathtaking are the Mimosa leaved Jacaranda in South Africa’s Pretoria that it has earned the nickname of ‘The jacaranda City’. Poetry has been spun around it, songs have been written on it (by Steve Tilston, Josh Garrels, Peter Combe) and writers have made cultural reference to it. A deciduous tree, Jacaranda mimosifolia comes from the Bignoniaceae family. It’s also known by its synonym Jacaranda acutifolia, which local horticulturists say is accurate identity of the trees here. Velvety violets, lilac laced, soft blues, moving mauves — its vibrant palate of colours and feathery foliage draw you like a magnet to it with those come hither looks and timeless beauty. It truly is a refreshing spectacle, one that makes you park your vehicle and take a walk under this blue heaven. These are hardy trees that grow well in tropical climes, well-drained soil and plenty of sun to showcase their lavender touch. In fact, it’s considered to be a great bonsai specimen for those who love this miniature art. One has to keep it away from salt exposure as it’s sensitive to it. Also, as they are not dense shade giving trees, they look better in gardens. While it has no edible use, its bark and root has medicinal advantages. It is also recommended as an alternative wood carving tree species, especially in Kenya.
In Chandigarh, you can spot them on Jan Marg, in private residences, Sectors 3, 4, 12, 29 and 11, including the Chandigarh Botanical Garden.