Blooming jacarandas a dazzling delight

IT'S the season of the jacaranda, with purple-blue blooms dotting the horizon any way you look.

The South American native has made itself right at home across the city — a sign that spring has well and truly arrived.

In Hogben Park, Kogarah, the trees are an annual delight, their flowers creating a soft blue carpet as they drift down in the wind.

They are thought to be remnants of a residential property (circa 1930-40s) to which the council added more over the years to maintain the avenue as a feature of the park.

There are an estimated 300-400 jacaranda trees in the Kogarah local government area.

While loved by many, the jacaranda has had its day when it comes to new plantings in public spaces.

Most councils, including Kogarah and Sutherland Shire, have given them up in favour of native species more suited to the environment.

"The council does from time to time receive complaints about dropped jacaranda flowers and foliage, especially from elderly residents who find the dropped vegetation can be quite slippery, a Sutherland Shire Council spokeswoman said.

"However, many of the jacarandas are on private property, not on council land."

The fact that there are so many jacarandas on private properties — in Sutherland Shire at least —could have something to do with Sister Irene Haxton.

Sister Haxton ran a maternity hospital in Caringbah during the 1950s and 1960s. She also grew and nurtured jacaranda seedlings.

Every mother and baby went home from the hospital with a seedling which was undoubtedly planted in honour of the new family member.

What do jacarandas mean to you?

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