One of the most impressive flowering tree’s of Maui is the stunning Jacaranda. You might be familiar with this tree, as it is a hard one to forget! The tall and full amethyst shaded blooms announce the arrival of spring time. They drop their flowers between May to mid June creating a beautiful carpet of purple and blue colors beneath the trees. Now, are these trees native to Maui? What is the history behind them? Keep on reading to learn more about these breathtaking parts of nature, and learn where you can go to view them! Maui’s Jacaranda spring into bloom right about now!
History Behind the Jacaranda
The Jacaranda’s were originally found in Brazil but spread across many tropical locations in the world including South America, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, and all the way to Africa, Pakistan and even Portugal! The ‘Upcountry’ part of Maui was settled by Portugese farmers and ranchers. We think that this is how the Jacaranda found it’s way here from Portugal.
A man named Elmer Cravalho grew up in the Keokea area where the first trees appeared.
Cravalho became a legislator in the 1950’s and on to become the mayor of Maui County between 1969-1979. In the late 1950’s, Elmer pursuaded the Territorial Highway Commission officials to plant the Jacaranda trees along the upcountry highways including the Pukalani and Kula areas.
How big do the Jacaranda Trees grow?
These trees can grow up to a whopping height of 60 to 90 feet, and their canopy can spread as large as 30 feet! Depending how much water they receive, in 7 to 14 years a Jacaranda can reach a height of 25 to 30 feet.
Seedlings typically take up to two whole years to bloom! The purplish blue flowers have a small hint of a honey smell to them. Once the flowers have dropped to the ground, they lose their scent completely.
In some parts of the world, there are Jacarandas that are over 200 years old!
Where to find the Jacaranda
After all this talk, you must be ready to see the Jacaranda, and even take some photos too!
Upcountry is the beautiful countryside part of Maui. You will find this area on the Haleakala mountain side, away from the shoreline. The largest towns found Upcountry are Pukalani, Makawao, Kula and Haiku. This part of Maui is a very rural, agricultural and residential area. However, there is also quite a bit for visitors alike!
You definitely won’t be able to miss these trees during your drive up the mountain. Our favorite place to view the magic is on the road toward Maui Winery which is on Kula Highway. The Kula baseball park also has some beautiful views!
After visiting the Jacarandas, get ready for some coffee and chocolate!
Come visit us a MCCT, and you will even be able to spot Jacarandas on your way to us on Naalae road.
Breakfast at Grandma’s Coffee House
Would you like to make a full day of your trip Upcountry? First stop on the list, we would recommend having coffee and breakfast at our beloved Grandma’s Coffee House. You will find this cozy cafe with a scenic deck at 9232 Kula Highway. Relaxed vibes and organic coffee made from local, house-roasted beans. This is a great way to start your day off right!
A little bit of history on Grandma’s Coffee House. Grandma AKA Minnie Franco, was just 16 years old when she started hand-picking, drying and roasting wild coffee beans grown on the slopes of Haleakala! Back in 1918, water was extremely scarce, and this was the only stop for coffee Upcountry. Grandma would barter her brewed coffee with the ranchers and paniolo (cowboys) on their way back and forth from Ulupalakua and Kaupo.
To this day, the beans are still roasted in a century-old wood-fired roaster, the same one which Minnie acquired in 1885.
You can feel the history when you walk into this coffee shop. It is just like you are at Grandma’s! Not to mention, the baked goods are so very tasty!
Whether you come up country to see the Jacaranda, visit us at MCCT, or are heading all the way up to the volcano of Haleakala, we recommend putting this beautiful gem of Maui on your bucket list. It really is such a special place! Now that you know when Maui’s Jacaranda Spring into Bloom, tag us on instagram so we can see your photos of the Jacaranda!