Tag Archives: Jacaranda mimosifolia


Sunday I went down to San Diego’s annual Artwalk streetfair down by the cool waterfront in the Little Italy neighborhood.

This has been a seriously bipolar spring, alternating chilly periods with intensely hot ones. This weekend was one of the hot ones, and people were milling about slowly, checking out the stalls of art. But almost everyone seemed to be more interested in the stands offering cold drinks.

I talked to one of my photographer friends down there who had a double booth and has been pretty successful there in years past. “People are mostly looking this time,” she said.

I guess I was one of the lookers too, for the most part. After getting my fill of the art, the one sight that really caught my eye was this jacaranda tree in bloom over an orange backhoe near where I’d parked my scooter:

jacaranda in bloom over backhoe

I don’t see eye-to-eye with Jerry Sanders, the mayor of San Diego, but this is one thing we agree on. It’s his favorite tree, and one of mine. It’s Jacaranda mimosifolia, a South American native that’s well adapted to areas without much in the way of frost. The leaves are ferny and delicate and the plant’s pretty well behaved in the U.S. (It’s considered an invasive pest, however, in South Africa and Queensland, Australia.) In the spring it turns into this, an explosion of purple flowers that rain down on cars and sidewalks below. Messy as all get out but a pretty exultant mess! Yet another plant that’s too big for my yard…