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Purple Haze – The Jacarandas

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Those purple blobs you can see when you’re in the final approach to LGB, flying over east Long Beach. Those tinges of purple in the trees. Those messy flowers dropping onto your car. It’s time for the jacarandas to bloom!

The jacaranda mimosifolia, shortened to Blue Jacaranda or just jacaranda, is a tree found mostly in the tropics and subtropic regions, like Central and South America, the Bahamas, South Africa, and Australia. But Southern California is dotted with them, especially in the tree-lined neighborhoods of Long Beach, where they were imported by the horticulturist Kate Sessions early in the last century.

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The photo above was taken this morning at the intersection of Clark, Stearns and Los Coyotes. The trees should be in full bloom in early May and last for a few weeks. They also bloom in the fall, but nothing as full as the spring bloom. Check out this shot I took last year of Fidler, just south of Stearns:

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Pretty spectacular, isn’t it?

But the trees are very messy. V.E.R.Y. messy and you know this if there is one on your property or you’ve parked under one. The blossoms are oily and difficult to clean up. You can see the mess on the street above, but it’s almost beautiful enough to overlook the aftermath.

Do you want to live on a street with jacarandas, like the one above? How about a house with one in the yard? Let me know and I’ll be happy to help you find your happy home. Do you have a favorite spot to view the jacarandas? Please let me know where or send me some photos to post.

Long Beach, it will surprise and delight you.

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