Come spring in Brisbane, the city erupts into a cacophony of colour — think carpets of purple jacaranda flowers, twisty pink bougainvillea vines and riots of poinciana trees.
While Brisbane is pretty all year round, it’s spring when Brisbane’s subtropical beauty really blooms. We’ve got the top spots where you can, quite literally, smell the roses... and several other floral favourites.
So come with us for a bird's eye view of Brisbane in bloom.
It wouldn't be Brisbane without this purple palette against our springtime skies. For generations, university students have set their clocks by the explosion of jacaranda flowers at the start of exam season, while the rest of us head outside to amble among their purple carpets.
Here are the best places to see purple reign.
- Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha: Picnic amongst the purple at the gardens and enjoy a jolt of jacarandas around the main ring road.
- Kangaroo Point: Pair petals, parks and river views with a ride or walk towards the Story Bridge, Captain Burke Park or Dockside Walk.
- New Farm Park: Home to 146 jacaranda trees, this iconic park is a springtime sensation. While there, smell the roses, courtesy of Council's rose gardener, who has been working at New Farm Park for 24 years.
- Princess Street, Fairfield: Enjoy bursts of colour near the South Brisbane Cemetery.
- St Lucia: Catch a CityCat to the University of Queensland St Lucia campus or bus to the UQ Lakes busway station for purple galore.
- Wilson Outlook Reserve: At the other end of New Farm, this small park has purple beauties, with Story Bridge views to boot.
- Yeronga: Don't miss Brisbane's aptly named Jacaranda Park!
Fun flora facts
- Jacaranda flowers can also come in white. Don't believe us? Visit Roma Street Parkland.
- The City Botanic Gardens boasts three species of jacarandas, while the Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha has a whopping seven.
- Although prolific around Brisbane, jacaranda trees are native to Central and South America.
- Brisbane's City Botanic Gardens is the site of Australia's first jacaranda tree. It was planted in 1864 and stood proudly until 1979 when it was destroyed by a storm.
Bougainvilleas love Brisbane's climate as much as we love their white, pink, purple, red, orange and apricot blooms.
Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha displays a stunning collective of bougainvillea below the Botanic Gardens Lookout.
Sir John Chandler Park's bougainvillea gardens at Indooroopilly are a bright spot to spy these flowers, the most prolific bougainvillea blooms are along the iconic Brisbane Grand Arbour at South Bank Parklands. Arching over a weaving one-kilometre long walkway are 443 galvanised floral-covered steel posts, primed with bougainvillea flowers all year 'round.
Brisbanites love their firetruck-red poinciana trees for the contrast of colour against the blue sky. You can spot poincianas in New Farm Park, Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha, City Botanic Gardens, around Brisbane Powerhouse and along New Farm Riverwalk. You can also see them in the suburban streets of Ascot, Hendra and Clayfield - all boasting high numbers of poincianas.
Fun flora facts
- The northern ventilation tower of the Clem7 tower is painted 'poinciana' red, while the southern one is 'jacaranda' purple.
- Council has launched a trial using native wasps to protect poinciana trees from the looper moth. This moth likes to lay its eggs in poinciana trees and attack the foliage. The trial is happening in Ascot and Hendra.
- The poinciana is native to Madagascar. In Brisbane, their flowers herald the onset of the warmer months and storm season.
- Poinciana flowers are mainly red, but more rare golden flowering trees can also be seen in the City Botanic Gardens.
Avenues of Honour
Looking for colour with a cause? We have plenty of parks around Brisbane with both! Between 2005 and 2019, Council contributed to the Avenues of Honour program making World War One memorials across the city with trees, to help remember our history with every season.
Most recently, we planted Toowong's Anzac Park with avenues of flame trees, a lone pine, a Gallipoli pine, and a grove of lemon-scented myrtle to honour the World War One nurses who died as a result of their service. Lest we forget.
Each spring, Milton Park bursts into colour when three tree species all flower at the same time. The golden flowers of the silky oak, the pretty purples of the jacaranda, and the robust red of the flame trees, make this spot Insta-worthy.
Fun flora fact
In the 1990s, Council embarked on a tree planting project in Milton Park, borrowing the influence of Australian horticulturalist, Harry Oakman. Oakman wrote numerous books on gardens and as a public landscaper helped influence Brisbane's subtropical vibe in public spaces. Council's Kangaroo Point Natural History Trail commemorates Brisbane City Council's former Superintendent of Parks, Harry Oakman by highlighting the remnants of his distinctive subtropcial plans with botanical signage.
Formal flower beds
Can't decide on your favourite tree or flower? Try one of our formal flower gardens for a rainbow of variety.
- Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha: Check out the Sensory Garden which focuses on scent, while the Temperate Region Plant Garden is all about plants from cooler regions that flower in spring. Be inspired by stunning Australian springtime blooms in the Native Plants for Brisbane Gardens display. Find out more about Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha attractions.
- City Botanic Gardens: Visit the formal flower gardens for a stunning springtime show.
- Roma Street Parkland: The Spectacle Garden is home to 18,000 plants, including springtime favourites such as violas, pansies, snapdragons, petunias and daffodils.
- South Bank Parklands: Head here for more beautiful blooms such as pansies and marigolds.
For beautiful buds of a different kind, Brisbane's giant fig trees are hard to beat at night when wrapped in twinkling fairy lights. Here's where to find some of these glittering figs lit up as part of our City of Lights project and our bud lighting project.
- New Farm: Along James Street, which boasts an awesome archway of fabulous figs.
- West End: Near the Hill End Terrace playground in Orleigh Park.
- Keep the kids entertained while you stop and smell the roses with the best playgrounds for kids
- Walk amongst Australian natives at Sherwood Arboretum
- Inspired by our fab flora? Here are some tips about the best plants for Brisbane's subtropical climate
- Love native plants? Make the most of our Free Native Plants program
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