Brisbane in Spring is a glorious time. The weather isn’t too hot and the city is awash with beautiful flowering Jacaranda trees. However did you know that there is a white version of the iconic purple Jacaranda tree that is so prominent throughout Brisbane during Spring?
Jacaranda mimosifolia or as we simply call them Jacarandas have a beautiful flowering relative, Jacaranda mimosifolia alba, white Jacaranda or White Christmas the variety is called and it can be found growing and flowering right here in Brisbane, in Brisbane city in fact. To find out where keep reading.
While the Jacaranda is native to Central and South America they grow exceptionally well in Brisbane too and have become a favourite among residents, visitors, garden lovers and photographers.
Many of the trees growing in Brisbane today are descendants from the first Jacaranda planted in the City Botanic Gardens by then Garden Superintendent, Walter Hill in 1864. Historical records state that a collection of seeds and plants arrived on wheat ships returning from South America and Hill planted these throughout the garden to see what would grow best in Brisbane’s climate. The Jacaranda survived, grew and blossomed in the City Botanic Gardens. Sadly though that original tree, which was also the first Jacaranda tree to be grown in Australia, is no longer standing however we are blessed with the flowering beauty of the seeds of the original tree every Spring.
Fast forward to the 21st century and to Roma Street Parklands where each October visitors can enjoy the beauty of the magnificent white variety and it’s due to the foresight of Bob Dobbs, Curator of Roma Street Parkland, whose vision was to plant something other than the popular purple Jacaranda which he knew was so prolific throughout Brisbane, that we can give thanks to for this pretty white tree lined avenue.
Dobbs discovered Jacaranda mimosifolia alba when he was driving through suburban Brisbane and he spotted a glorious white flowering tree with a equally glorious white carpet. He stopped his car and asked the resident of the house if they would be interested in giving the tree away to the Parkland. To Bob’s surprise and good luck the owner of the house was considering selling her home and so was happy to give him the tree as she wanted it to continue to be loved as much as she had loved it for the past 15 years. Bob arranged to have the tree transported to Roma Street Parkland where it didn’t survive the transplant and died a little while later.
In memory of that first white Jacaranda planted at the Parkland, Bob ordered from an interstate garden supplier a selection of the white variety so as to create an avenue of them, hence the name White Jacaranda Avenue. You can visit White Jacaranda Avenue which is located near the children’s playground at Roma Street Parkland.
These beautiful trees flower each October for about 8 weeks and are a magnificent sight. If you visit Roma Street Parkland make sure you tag me in our photos on social media. Do you have a white Jacaranda tree growing in your garden or in your street? Let me know below if you do, I’d love to hear from you.
If you love Jacarandas you might also be interested in –
Where to find Jacaranda blooms in Ipswich – read more here
What to know Brisbane’s best Jacaranda locations? – read more here
I was inspired to find and photograph the white Jacaranda trees flowering in Roma Street Parkland and write this blog post to share with my readers after reading Carlie Jeffrey’s blog post here.