As of last week, the 88 years old Jacaranda tree at Sydney University was found uprooted in the Quadrangle. It lay there, but it was still full of purple flowers, making such a romantic departure… Only last year I posted a lot of photos of this tree in my Flickr gallery, so I can show here past and present:
The Jacaranda tree was the most famous in the city and very loved by Sydney Uni students, past and present, maybe because it made such a nice backdrop for the graduation photos. My son graduated from Sydney Uni, and this is why we cannot help feeling a bit sad about it…
The University decided to clone it, to make sure that the tree lives on. Two of his clones are currently prepared, even if the existing one was expected to live for another 30-40 years. Unfortunately, the replacement will have to come much sooner.
Of course, it will take a while until the new identical genetical trees will be able to look as their legendary ‘father’.
The Jacaranda was planted in the Quadrangle by university academic E. G. Woodhouse, Professor of Comparative Literature and a keen horticulturist, who had the vision to beautify the grounds of Sydney Uni with rows of Jacarandas.
Not all of them survived, but the one in the Quadrangle was the most loved one. It was planted near the rooms where Philosophy used to be taught to provide shade for the philosophers as they sat and contemplate the world around them.
University folklore warns that any student who failed to study before the tree is in bloom will fail their exams. 🙂 Most years the tree blossoms in November, so students know when to commence the study after lessons are finished, but every so often the tree blooms in October panicking superstitious students. Or so the legend goes…