Gauteng’s Jacaranda trees in full bloom as streets turn purple

Posted on 12 October 2022 By Olerato Ramafsi

Gauteng has over 10 million trees and is sometimes referred to as one of the world’s largest urban man-made forests, and every year Jacarandas paint the streets in purple petals.

jacaranda season is upon us

Picture: Sandra Boris

The trees are actually indigenous to South America; their history in South Africa can be traced back to as early as 1880, when they were first imported from Argentina.

Before the discovery of Gold in the Witwatersrand in 1886, Gauteng was home to Voortrekker farmers who had relocated from Cape Town during The Great Trek. These farmers brought seeds from the Cape and planted Oak, Walnut and Jacaranda trees.

According to Anna Smith in The Star of 1945, the first Jacaranda to be planted in the city was at Charlton Terrace in Doornfontein. Smith reported that Tree entrepreneur William Nelson had nurseries in Turffontein where ‘by 1896 he grew 30-million trees, shrubs and plants for general distribution.’

Nelson, whose business was known as Nelsonia Nurseries, apparently planted 106 kilometres of trees along the streets of the newly established suburb of Kensington. The task took a whopping six months to complete. Which is widely believed to be the first time street trees were planted in South Africa at such a large scale.

Even with the rich history that comes with them, the trees occupy a peculiar position within South Africa: While being well-loved and noticeable compared to other species they are still invasive aliens. Which makes replanting the trees prohibited and punishable by law.

They are capable of withstanding the test of time with a life expectancy of up to 200 years if cared for properly.

The trees have managed to become part of South African folklore with many believing they represent a reminder that everyone’s situation can change when the time is right or if you’re a university student, a painful reminder that it may be too late to get your grades up.

Take a look below at some of the best images captured in this year’s season of blossom.

Jacaranda Tree

Picture: Drone Fanatics SA

Picture: Drone Fanatics SA

Picture: Drone Fanatics SA

Picture: Drone Fanatics SA

Picture: Drone Fanatics SA

ALSO READ: Spectacular white jacaranda trees grace Gauteng


yoast-primary -
tcat - Travel news
tcat_slug - travel-news
tcat2 -
tcat2_slug -
tcat_final -