Jacaranda Highway

Come have a view, both still and video, of Jacaranda Highway. In mid-spring, on the upcountry slopes of Haleakala, on Maui, Hawaii, Jacaranda tress blossom, along the two main highways which connect the various upcountry residents and communities together, and to the rest of the island. Their bluish purple flowers become an annual sight attracting painters, photographers, and lover’s of natural beauty. A drive through upcountry Maui can be delightful just about any time of the year; however, mid spring can be particularly enjoyable, because of the blossoming Jacarandas, turning an everyday road into Jacaranda Highway.

Jacaranda mimosifolia is a sub-tropical tree native to south-central South America that has been widely planted elsewhere because of its beautiful and long-lasting blue flowers. Jacaranda is a genus of 49 species of flowering plants in the family Bignoniaceae. Maui’s Jacaranda are not native. They are imported.

“The former mayor of Maui County was raised in Keokea—the final outpost on the twisting Kula Highway—where jacarandas first appeared. During the late 1950s, the Portuguese descendant and Speaker of the Hawaii House of Representatives persuaded the Territorial Highway Commission to plant jacarandas along the highways of Kula and Pukalani. Many speculate that it was Cravalho’s Portuguese-rancher ancestors who first introduced this royal tree, as jacarandas originated in Brazil (and are now found throughout Cuba, Northwest Argentina, Bolivia, Jamaica, the Bahamas, South Africa, and Australia). Fables from the Amazon tell of a priestess of the moon who descended from the (Jacaranda)tree before assimilating herself with local villagers, with whom she shared her bounty of wisdom and morals and showed them the difference between evil and good. Her work complete, she went back to the tree and floated to the skies above, where she was reunited with her soulmate—the child of the sun. Elder females within Amazonian tribes would gather residents underneath the shade of jacarandas—which is synonymous with order and knowledge—to dole out insights. And given the tree’s association with learning, colleges and universities around the globe have long featured jacarandas on their campuses—perhaps most notably so at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, where students know it’s time to crack down on studying when the petals fall to the ground (a spectacle that gave rise to the term Purple Panic). And within this lore? A boatload of additional myths—including the notion that one’s grade point average will fall by a point for each blossom that falls on their head. For Mauians, these 90-foot trees remind us of the power and promise of rebirth—and are as much of a part of our treasured landscape as the omnipresent palm tree.” (www.bikemaui.com/upcountry-maui-jacaranda)

On Maui, the Jacarandas may blossom early one year, late another, depending on the amount and dates of rain. This year the Jacarandas began their bloom in early April with those of lower elevations, and continued into May. The images in this post were all taken on April 15, 2017.

Along Jacaranda Highway in Upcountry Maui

Jacaranda Highway on the lower slopes of Haleakala, Maui, Hawaii

Enjoy a bird’s eye video view of Maui’s upcountry Jacaranda tree lined highway….


 

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