Jacaranda is a kind of flowering plants and native to subtropical regions of South and Central America. In many parts of the world, the blooming of this tree is welcomed as a sign of spring.
Jacaranda’s size varies from 2 to 30 m tall. The leaves are bipinnate in most species, pinnate or simple in a few species. The flowers are produced in conspicuous large panicles, each flower with a five-lobed blue to purple-blue corolla. The fruit is an oblong to oval flattened capsule containing numerous slender seeds. Several species are widely grown as ornamental plants throughout the subtropical regions of the world, valued for their intense flower displays. The most often seen is the Blue Jacaranda. Some are also commercially important. For example the Jacaranda copaia is important for its timber because of its exceptionally long bole.
Young trees are upright but assume an irregular branching pattern that produces beautifully asymmetric open crowns as the trees age. From April to June the tree covers itself with showy trumpet shaped flowers that are about 1.5 inches wide and are arranged in panicles that grow at the tips of branches.
Most jacarandas are big size trees, and are not for small properties. Occasionally certain varieties are available that are smaller and can be enjoyed in suburban yards and for patio plantings. Since this is a deciduous tree it is best planted among evergreens that will hide its bareness in the winter and provide a green backdrop for the vibrant flowers in the spring. This tree is especially impressive when reflected in the still waters of a lake.
The jacaranda boasts some of the most electric and intense colors that nature has to offer. It stays in bloom for more that 8 weeks, this makes it even more desirable. Jacaranda are inexpensive and easily available from most nurseries and garden centers in areas where it will grow.
Jacaranda prefers enriched sandy, well drained soils but is tolerant of most soil types. It is not a salt tolerant plant. It prefers bright sunny conditions. This tree will tolerate some shade but will bear fewer flowers. It likes moisture but will tolerate some drought. Doesn’t like soggy or poorly drained situations. Selected varieties are grafted. But in most situations, it propagates by seed.
Pretoria in South Africa is called as The Jacaranda City due to the enormous number of Jacaranda trees planted as street trees. In flowering time the city appears purple in color. The time of year the Jacarandas bloom in Pretoria coincides with the year-end exams at the University of Pretoria, and students believe that if a Jacaranda flower drops on your head, you will pass all your exams.
The University of Queensland in the city of Brisbane in Australia has a very high concentration of the tree, and due to the impressive display of purple flowers in mid-Spring, students claim that one will not start studying for exams until the jacarandas have molted. At Sydney University, stundets claim a similar expression: By the time the jacaranda in the main quadrangle flowers, it is too late to start studying for exams.
Brisbane’s hilly geography allows views of the city and suburbs in which the brightly coloured flowers can be easily seen for miles. The jacaranda has become a part of the city’s identity, despite the fact that it only flowers from September through October. About 70 years ago, when new mothers leaving the hospital, they were given a jacaranda sapling to plant. People believe that is the main reason for the Jacaranda’s proliferation in Brisbane.
The city of Grafton on the north coast of New South Wales, Australia, is also famous for its Jacarandas. Every October the city has a Jacaranda festival during the period of full bloom. Jacaranda is also popular throughout most of southern California. In California, jacarandas are known as the trees that bloom twice a year, although the fall bloom is generally not as striking as the spring bloom.