Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Blue hyacinth trees!

What nonsense I hear you say - hyacinths don't grow on trees! Well of course they don't but the Jacaranda trees that are blooming just now remind me  of trees full of beautiful blue hyacinth spikes. This is really rather special for me as being here somewhat later into the spring this year, I am experiencing species that I have normally missed when I return to the UK in early spring. I guess my late return to the British spring will mean that I have missed the daffodils but I can live with that if I get to see Jacarandas in full bloom!

A good specimen - library pic - not mine

Jacaranda mimosaefolia is a sub-tropical tree from South America which is cultivated in many warm parts of the world. It has very delicate finely divided foliage, sometimes leading to the common name fern tree. In the UK I have only ever seen small foliage plants grown for bedding or floral decoration. Indoors it is useless as it readily drops hundreds of tiny leaflets making a total mess and ending up looking a skeletal mess. 

See what I mean - big blue hyacinths!
Unpruned tree in private garden

Tree in car park

In warm countries it makes a large tree up to 15m (50ft) Here in Palm Springs they are common in older landscape schemes, although less readily planted nowadays, presumably due to their high water requirement. Sadly they are so often heavily pruned and so the trees become ragged in shape, full of rotting stubs and truncated branches. Flowering on such specimens is severely limited. The best ones here are those that are a little neglected and left to grow naturally. They seem to be semi-evergreen and flowering occurs on trees that are only sparsely foliated. I guess a sharp winter frost would cause the leaves to drop and flowering would be on totally bare stems.

This is sadly the usual treatment!

1 comment:

  1. I remember flying into LAX a couple of years ago and it seemed the entire city had turned blue. Such a beautiful sight from above.