It’s that time of year again when L.A. turns into a violet utopia with vivid clouds of blossoms lining the streets. The Jacarandas are the cherry blossoms of Los Angeles with a sight and smell that is wholly captivating and have become one of the city’s most recognizable trees.
There is somewhat of a love-hate relationship for residents living on the streets that boast these beauties. The striking color of their flowers can make an avenue seem surreal, as though you’ve stepped into another world. But then, there’s the mess. On the other hand, the stickiness of the aphids coating every car or the slippery mush of fallen petals that carpet the sidewalks. Basically, they are beautiful to look at as long as they’re not in your own yard.
The exotic Jacaranda mimosifolia originated in South America in places like Brazil, Argentina, and Bolivia and found its way to California thanks to the legendary horticulturist Kate Sessions. In 1892, she transformed 32 acres of barren, city-owned land in San Diego into a lush and colorful landscape. Once she proved the plants could thrive in their new environment, they quickly took off in surrounding areas. Today,
According to a heat map created by LA Times journalist Matt Stiles, the best place to catch the bloom is in Westwood between April and June. However, they can be seen almost anywhere now, including Venice, Korea Town, West Hollywood, and Beverly Hills.
Heatmap shows the density of jacaranda street trees — those pretty purple blooms you see along and above the roads this month — in the city of Los Angeles. If you like them, drive through Westwood. pic.twitter.com/JcueV1loAF
— Matt Stiles (@stiles) May 20, 2019
If you can’t get enough of the purple color pops and you’re up for a drive, you can explore this complete map of every tree in L.A. that The Bureau of Street Services has collated.