Plant of the Month for June: The Jacaranda Tree
A Royal Canopy Gracing our Neighborhoods
Have you seen the purple blossoms on display around Redlands these days? The flowers are on what we have learned are “Jacaranda” trees. We were so impressed by them that we chose them for June’s Creation Care Plant of the Month.
The Jacaranda is originally from South America. It's a medium water-use tree which grows 50 feet high, with a canopy 15 – 30 feet wide. It’s considered invasive in wetter climates around the world, but not here.
You might think of Jacarandas as good trees for city dwelling, because they are less damaging to sidewalks than most street trees, and they are loved by the bees and birds we share our neighborhoods with.
The Jacaranda’s brilliant purple canopies made us consider the many times we see purple in worship.
Purple is a royal color and has long been associated with the Church. After all, Christ is our King.
"Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness," Jesus tells us, in Matthew Chapter 6.
We celebrate with purple during Lent, and again in Advent.
Purple is also one of the colors that the Israelites were instructed to use building the Ark.
“The tabernacle itself you shall make out of ten sheets woven of fine linen twined and of violet, purple, and scarlet yarn, with cherubim embroidered on them.”
Did you know that Cardinals wore purple, not red, prior to 1464? In that year, Pope Paul II decreed a change from “Tyrian” purple to scarlet. This is because the rich dye for that shade was no longer available after the 1453 fall of Constantinople.
Bishops and archbishops were then assigned the color purple, but from a different dye.
Regarding the purple in the Jacaranda trees, you can find them at our parish in the courtyard of the Olive campus and lining the sidewalks on either end of the athletic field, on Fourth Street and on Eureka Street.
If you decide you’d like to add “royal purple” to your own yard, but would like something smaller than the Jacaranda, consider the “Cleveland Sage”, shown here.
Cleveland Sage is a waterwise, native plant loved by hummingbirds and bees, that provides purple flowers for much of the summer. You can often find the varieties known as “Winnifred Gilman” and "Allen Chickering” nearby.
Find out more by visiting Calscape's website.
Happy Saturday from Creation Care Ministry, and peace be with you during this weekend's Solemnity of The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.
on Saturday, June 5 at 4:21PM