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Jacarandas
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Russell Mondy

Obsessed with jacarandas? These maps show every single purple tree in L.A.

Here’s where to find jacarandas all across L.A.

By
Michael Juliano
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They get your car all sticky and blanket the sidewalk with bee-baiting petals. But there’s nothing quite like L.A.’s annual jacaranda bloom, when trees all across the region pop with powdery purple flowers.

Jacaranda trees typically bloom between April and June, and if you’ve ventured outside or scrolled through your Instagram feed lately, you know that we’re in the middle of peak jacaranda season. If your street isn’t speckled with petals, though, you’re probably wondering where you can see them. The short answer: Santa Monica, Westwood and Pasadena, for a start.

But what if there was a way to pinpoint them down to the individual tree? Believe it or not, you can do exactly that thanks to multiple cities’ open-data portals and a couple of maps.

(Just a heads up: This map may load slowly.)

The Bureau of Street Services has created a map of every tree along the streets of the City of Los Angeles. The sheer volume of data makes that map borderline unusable, but we were able to create a modified version that shows only jacarandas (thousands upon thousands of them) that we’ve embedded above. The two caveats: This only shows trees within the City of Los Angeles (so not Beverly Hills or West Hollywood, for instance) and only ones along the street, on public land. If you’re interested in trees that reside in city parks, just type “jacaranda” into the search bar of this other map.

If you’re looking for trees outside of the City of Los Angeles, we’ll start with easily the slickest option of them all: the color-coded Santa Monica Public Tree Map. Simply plug “jacaranda” into the search field and you’ll see the locations for 1,031 jacaranda trees along streets and parks in the coastal city, including 20th Street north of Colorado Avenue; on 11th, 12th and 31st Streets just south of the 10; and, most notably, at the eastern end of Ashland Avenue.

As for the rest of the non-L.A. cities, it’s unfortunately not quite as easy. Last year, L.A. Times journalist Matt Stiles combed through open-data portals and filed public records requests to create a GitHub repository that contains info (including location and species) on 1.75 million trees in 50 L.A.-area cities. Of particular note, Stiles produced this heatmap of jacaranda trees in the city of Los Angeles.

The Long Beach Post used that same data to compile a similar map for Long Beach—and we imagine anyone with the proper coding know-how could do the same for every other city. We’ll be the first to admit that’s not us, though; we’re too busy enjoying the quiet beauty of the jacaranda bloom right now.

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