Sydney University Quadrangle with and without the old Jacaranda Tree
The Jacaranda tree was the most famous in the city and it was very loved by the students, maybe because it made such a nice backdrop for the graduation photos. My son graduated from Sydney University, 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 like their legendary ‘father’.
The Jacaranda was planted in the Quadrangle by the 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. 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…
Sydney University Quadrangle is probably one of the most significant Gothic Revival style buildings in Australian architecture. This is where the graduations are celebrated, but now it doesn’t look the same without the old jacaranda tree that was softening the landscape.