TL;DR – Today I explore the time of year that Brisbane turns purple.
There are a lot of benefits for living in Brisbane, the weather is nice most of the year round, we have some of the nicest beaches in the world a short drive away, and if you want to escape the heat you have the hinterlands. However, for me, my favourite time to be in Brisbane is the end of spring when the city turns purple as the Jacarandas (Jacaranda mimosifolia) come out to bloom. So today we are going to explore one of the best places to see the Jacarandas in full flower the campus of the University of Queensland which sits along the Brisbane River at St Lucia. Just a warning that there are a lot of images after the fold, so if you are on mobile you might want to check that you are on wifi.
The St Lucia campus sits high upon the hill and along the riverbanks are a series of parks and sports fields. At the heart of these parks between the campus and the colleges are the UQ Lakes, and it is here where you can find most, though not all, of the Jacarandas on campus.
The Lakes are a beautiful place to visit, not just for the water and shade on a hot day, but because they are full of wildlife. Indeed, during the spring months, you get to see the plethora of baby animals as the campus turns purple. Feel free to get the Duck Tails song stuck in your head right about now.
Now it would not be a campus of university students without all sorts of local superstitions, and given the Jacaranda flowering season coincides with the end of the semester then you can guess what they can be. Now with my discussions with students having a Jacaranda flower drop on you is either the harbinger of doom for the upcoming exams, or a blessing that you will do well, so there is a lot of scope there. But if it is the first, well riding a bike to Uni just got a bit more hazardous.
One of the things I like so much about Jacarandas is how they look beautiful from afar as a giant purple mass but are also exquisite close up as well. Of course, each of the trumpet-shaped flowers is the perfect shape for the insects and birds that come for food within, but seeing as I don’t eat pollen, I will just admire them for their beauty.
Another aspect of Jacarandas that I love is how the bright purple flowers interplay with dark bark of the trees. Now just before the flowers start Jacarandas drop most of their leaves, so you get this stark contrast that speaks to me for some reason.
Now if you are really lucky you will catch the Jacarandas and Silky Oaks (Grevillea robusta) flowering at the same time. This is wonderful because you get complementary colours right next to each other, and it is rare to see two trees so full of flowers, especially at the same time.
In the end, the Lakes are not the only places on campus to view the beautiful Jacarandas, you can find them all over the place. However, while the Lakes might not have a Giant Squid, just be careful that Michelangelo here doesn’t persuade you to go on any adventures. Sure he is cute and all, but he always sticks you with the pizza bill.
Disclaimer: In another job, Brian is employed by the University of Queensland but this was created outside of that.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
Have you visited UQ during Jacaranda season?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias and you can follow us Here. Check out all our past reviews and articles Here, and have a happy day.
Credits – All images are by the author