Stories From Home – Jacaranda Bloom

If you navigate the city of Lusaka, your eyes can’t help but marvel at the purple bells dangling from the Jacaranda trees. They are either scattered, fenced in private property or lined side by side on several roads across the city. The best views are caught on foot especially in Rhodes Park, Kabulonga, Ridgeway, Longacres and nearby areas, where the trees stand on their zig zag stems and wave their branches for attention.

Is it any wonder that this pretty flower is prevalent in these parts of Lusaka? Well here’s what my quick research found.

When colonialists invaded Africa, they brought with them varying species of plants to make themselves feel at home. Tree planting begun after 1913, when Lusaka was gazzetted as a local authority for administration. The Jacaranda tree, native to the Americas, was planted excessively as an ornament due to its flowering display. The said areas were particularly crowded with the plant because they were suburbs reserved for administrative officers in colonial service.

Jacaranda Tree – Nyerere Road, Long Acres

State House also has its own collection of this plant because the architect who designed the building, Sir Walcott, had a good eye for nature and left a huge proportion of the estate for landscaping. The tree is dotted around the premises with canopies offering shade.

The Jacaranda tree has also been planted widely in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Kenya and one can only be of the conclusion that the Europeans had everything to do with its existence in Africa. It is satisfying to note that a particular plant blooms at around the same time of the year in these countries and yet it is not native to either of them.

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Day 29

#BlogtemberChallenge

#StoriesFromHome

#MyAfricaMyWords

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4 thoughts on “Stories From Home – Jacaranda Bloom

  1. Wait … I thought they were indigenous??? Correction, Actually I never thought about it.

    I think there’s a lesson in there somewhere I can think of a quote or two about planting trees:

    the best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago the second best time is now

    Imagine the person who stood in the middle of that street and envisioned walking beneath a purple canopy in a tree lined avenue… Most of us dont have plans like that.

    the true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you will never expect to sit your lifetime

    ~B

    PS and once the Jacarandas start to bloom you know that its exam season

    Liked by 2 people

    • They came here on a ship and adapted very easily because of our moist soils.

      Sadly we don’t think ahead of time. Do our governments even prioritize plants? I remember passing through a forest reserve when I was a kid, but now there’s a national house of prayer being erected. I know Zim has stiff laws against charcoal burning but here, there is little concern for forestry. The Jacaranda trees are the only ones we’ve preserved and they were planted ages ago. I have not seen indigenous trees being planted for preservation. Even the endangered species are up for grubs

      Liked by 1 person

      • stiff laws never stopped a determined enterprising entrepreneur who has found his lil market, the way we are losing trees I suspect its part of why it doesnt rain so much and why it gets so hot these days, Climate Change they say
        ~B

        Liked by 1 person

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