Purple, my wise old grandmother’s favorite color

My wise old grandmother

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The only picture I have of my wise old grandmother is the one above. You might deduce that my wise old grandmother’s favorite color was purple. You would be right. She never visited San Diego but I’m pretty sure that if she had, she would have loved it here, especially in May.

May is purple month in San Diego. The purple jacaranda trees are blooming….

Picture 7 - Biggest, baddest Jacaranda I've ever seen

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

the purple lilies of the Nile are blooming….

Lily of the Nile

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

and the purple sea lavender are blooming.

Sea lavender

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I fell in love with sea lavender (Limonium sp.). just a couple of days after arriving in San Diego in April 1993.

Sea lavender is a unique plant because it can thrive in the poorest of soils, even salty, sandy ones. Thus it grows wild along the sandstone bluffs, along the freeways, and at the beaches:

Sea lavender

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Sea lavender

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Sea lavender

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

It needs no extra watering other than what Mother and Father Nature provide when they cry over the injustices being done to the Earth by mankind [that’s an editorial comment].

Perhaps the uniquest (a word for my friend, Robin Coyle, to dissect) attribute of the sea lavender is the flower stalk, called a panicle or corymb. The flowers are very tiny but come bunched together by the thousands on the panicle. They are very dry and papery, making for excellent cut flowers because they will last a couple of months after cutting, or for dried flowers since they are 90% already dried.

I do take requests for blogging subjects, and this post on sea lavenders was inspired by Kimberly Konkol, whose blog is titled “Everlasting love of flowers.”

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

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Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

35 thoughts on “Purple, my wise old grandmother’s favorite color

  1. AJ's Mom

    Thank you for this nice and purple-y post. 🙂 Brightens up my day despite the pouring rain.
    I love purple. Or any shades of purple at that. I don’t know why, but as far as I can remember, I’ve been a fan of this color. Must be because of my birthstone. San Diego is such a lovely place, would love to take my family to visit there one day. 🙂

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  2. Mr Bunny Chow

    I grew up in Harare (formerly Salisbury) a city famous for it’s Jacaranda lined boulevards even though they are not indeginous to the region. They evoke strong memories and nostalgia in me. thank you for sharing.

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  3. ytaba36

    Well, San Diego should become the twin city for Adelaide, in South Australia. They have all the very same purple splendour as you, in San Diego. But, Sea Lavender is known as “Statice”.

    You could start a campaign, and then get an all-expenses paid trip to Australia to unveil the plaque of friendship! Bring Zoey, I’ll cat sit while you’re being a celebrity.

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  4. rommel

    I always see this. It’s everywhere in California. Sometimes, very visible that it looks like it’s the only thing that gives color to California roads.

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  5. Maxi

    Heeey, I want the purple Jacaranda Tree in my yard. I have never seen a more gorgeous tree, it’s a feast for the eyes and soul.

    Thanks for sharing, Russel.
    Blessings – Maxi

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  6. Kimberly Konkol

    Thank you for the amazing photos of the sea lavender! They are gorgeous! It’s unbelievable where it can grow! I wish it would grow here in Minnesota. The Lily of the Nile and the Jacaranda tree are beautiful! I can imagine that your Grandma would have loved it there with all of that blooming purple! 🙂

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  7. rajdhaniflorist.com

    Agapanthus (Lily of the Nile) This plant has strap-like leaves and beautiful blue flowers in a rounded cluster on leafless stalks. Place the plants at a distance of about 2 feet from each other, setting them in a way that the tops of the fleshy roots are just below the surface of the soil.

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