Item No. 2131
The Jacaranda is an exceptionally beautiful tree that has been cultivated in every part of the world.
Pretoria South Africa is known as Jacaranda City because the jacarandas are so plentiful there they turn the city blue in the spring.
In 1892, Katherine Olivia Sessions, an American botanist, struck a deal with the City of San Diego to lease 30 acres in Balboa Park as her growing fields.
She agreed to plant 100 trees a year in the barren park and 300 trees per year in other parts of San Diego using seeds imported from around the world.
At the time most of San Diego consisted of dirt and sagebrush.
Every older tree you now see in the park was planted by Katherine.
In 1935 the day September 22 was dedicated to her and she is credited with popularizing the jacaranda which is now identified with the city.
In 1998 a bronze statue of Sessions was dedicated to her as a tribute in the park she created.