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Products > Jacaranda mimosifolia (Standard)
 
Jacaranda mimosifolia (Standard) - Jacaranda
   

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Tree
Family: Bignoniaceae (Bignonias)
Origin: South America
Flower Color: Lavender Blue
Bloomtime: Summer
Height: 25-40 feet
Width: 20-30 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
JJacaranda mimosifolia (Jacaranda) - A deciduous to semi-evergreen tree that grows typically to 40 feet tall, with a 30 foot spread more if low branched. It has a stout trunk with gray rectangular flaked bark and alternately-arranged finely-divided (bipinnately compound) leaves that are at least a foot long and composed of 1/2 inch long narrow elliptical leaflets that give the tree a delicate fernlike yet tropical appearance. The lavender-blue flowers are 1 1/2 inch long with a curved trumpet shape with a white inner throat that shows only slightly at the base of the upper petals and are formed in abundance in terminal panicles in the late spring and summer timing differs with the year and location but late May through June is Jacaranda blooming time in Santa Barbara. The flowers often smoother the tree to create giant violet-blue masses in the landscape then drop to litter the ground with color. After flowering, the 2 inch wide by 3 inch long tough flat woody fruit capsules dry to brown and then open, like little mouths, before too dropping to the ground these are often used in craftwork. Plant in full sun with occasional deep summer watering and preferably in a soil that drains well - will often survive in heavier soils but growth is slow and sometimes stunted. It is considered hardy to 20 F but established trees have tolerated temperatures down to 18 F as evidenced by the survival of all of the mature Jacaranda planted even in colder areas of Santa Barbara during our December 1990 cold spell and there were reports of trees going undamaged when subjected to temperatures as low as 10 degrees in eastern Los Angeles county. This incredibly attractive tree is widely used and cherished by many throughout Southern California and other parts of the world, though not everyone is a fan and classify it as tree that drops too much litter leaflets, leaf rachis (stem holding leaflets), flowers and seed capsules drop at different times so it seems to always be shedding something. The names Jacaranda mimosifolia and J. acutifolia are sometimes used synonymously but botanically they are considered to be two separate taxa, with Jacaranda mimosifolia being native to mountain valleys of northwestern Argentina and nearby areas of Bolivia while Jacaranda acutifolia hails from dry Andean valleys of central Peru. In older texts the natural distribution of Jacaranda mimosifolia is often listed as extending into Brazil but currently it iso thought that all such trees were introducted. It is now one of the most common planted tree in most cities in Brazil. In their book Trees of Santa Barbara authors Robert Muller and J. Robert Haller write "The two species of Jacaranda are often confused with one another, and in the nursery trade cross fertilization has undoubtedly contaminated seed sources. Many or the trees in Santa Barbara appear to show characteristics that are intermediate between the two species." Jacaranda is a genus with 34 species form the New World tropics and Jacaranda mimosifolia is considered threatened in its native habitat and it is illegal to cut, harvest and ship the wood for commercial purposes. The name given to the genus by the French botanist Jussieu in 1818 comes from the name given the tree by the indigenous Tupi people of Brazil (Tupi-Guarani language) as translated into Portuguese. The specific epithet means "like mimosa" in reference to its resemblance to Mimosa, an old world plant that got its name from the Greek word 'mimos' meaning "mimic" in reference to the matching rows of opposite leaflets. Other common names include Black Poui, Fern Tree, Brazilian Rose Wood, Blue Jacaranda and because of its similarities in foliage, form and mass flowering to the Flamboyant (Delonix regia), it is also called Blue Flame of the Forest" and Flamboyan Azul. The interesting woody flattened seed capsules have also garnered it the name Oyster Tree. In the late 1980s we also grew a white flowering form but realized what made Jacaranda so special was its beautiful violet-blue color there are several large white Jacarandas still in Santa Barbara, including in Franceschi Park, but we no longer grow it.  This description is based on research and observations of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in our nursery garden and in other gardens that we visit. We also incorporate comments received and appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have any additional information about this plant, particularly if they disagree with what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Jacaranda mimosifolia.
 
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