Is this Drouin’s first Jacaranda street tree?
|Opposite Drouin Primary School|
Mr Phil Edwards remembers his dad Ernie, (who commenced Edwards Engineering), in 1938 getting permission from the shire to plant a Jacaranda on the nature strip outside 146 Princes Way opposite the Drouin Primary School.
|Ernie Edwards circa 1944 - thanks to the Edwards family and the NLA.|
Ernie had listened to a program on the ‘wireless’ about a Jacaranda Festival in Grafton. (Incidentally, the wrought iron fence at No 146 was Ernie’s first job with an electric welder!). The tree and the fence are holding up well. (Thanks Sally and Phil for a delightfully engaging story).
Jacaranda mimosifolia is a native of Central and South America and is just one of about 50 species of the same family.
In south-east Queensland, where in some locations the tree is regarded as an invasive species, folklore has it that when the Jacarandas begin to bloom that school and university exams are imminent. Students begin to feel a little nervous, giving rise to the terms ‘purple panic’ and the ‘exam tree’.
The beautiful blue/purple flowers form a stunning carpet when they drop to the ground.
Many Drouin residents have planted a Jacaranda in their gardens adding further beauty to the existing street trees. Be warned however, the Jacaranda can grow to 15m and beyond with a similar spread. Some gardeners suggest the root systems can invade plumbing/sewerage lines too.
Thanks to Ernie Edwards and the early shire staff, we residents today are rewarded with some beautiful streetscapes.
PS: Some further Jacaranda folklore says that Jacaranda essence – just some blooms under your pillow at night apparently – will cure people who are accident prone, unsettled, unable to finish a project, .... Don’t quote me!