Jacas feel the heat
‘Sprummer’ weather may delay blooms
THE iconic burst of purple flowers around Grafton could be delayed this year with the continued onslaught of “sprummer” weather.
Temperatures in the Clarence Valley soared last week, as the mercury reached 34.5°C in Grafton on Wednesday, close to 10°C above the average set between 2002 and 2016.
The summer-like spring weather has forced the Bureau of Meteorology to coin the term “sprummer”.
“There could be a delay in the peak flowering season (typically in October) because of that warm winter,” a bureau spokesperson said.
“Often a burst of rain helps spring the flowers to life. Most jacaranda trees flower in spring but it does depend on how much rain falls.”
However Junction Hill Nursery owner Patti Gilbert has cast doubt on the BOM’s claim of the late blooming jacaranda trees.
“I’ve lived here all my life and I’m 70 and I’ve never seen a jacaranda tree not flower,” she said.
“They may be a bit late but they will still be in flower. We’ve had droughts worse than this and hotter temperatures and they’ve still flowered on time.
“I think it’s the heat has more of an effect on their flowering than the dry.
“I love jacarandas and it’s something I’ve watched for years and I’ve never ever seen them where they haven’t had flowers. Some years they might be half a week early but they’ve never not flowered.”
Ms Gilbert said jacaranda trees have a very predictable flowering pattern.
“Normally in the first week of October if you drive into town (from Junction Hill) and along Turf St the trees will have no flowers, they’ll just look like dead sticks,” she said.
“In the second week they’ll have a mauve hue, and that will be stronger in the third week, and by the first week of November they’ll be in full flower with a carpet.”