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Jacaranda mimosifolia

Jacaranda mimosifolia (*)

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Lamiids
Ordo: Lamiales

Familia: Bignoniaceae
Tribus: Jacarandeae
Genus: Jacaranda
Sectio: J. sect. Jacaranda
Species: Jacaranda mimosifolia

Jacaranda mimosifolia D.Don (1822)

Jacaranda chelonia Griseb., Abh. Königl. Ges. Wiss. Göttingen 19: 223. 1874.
Jacaranda ovalifolia R.Br., Bot. Mag. 49: t. 2327. 1822.

Native distribution areas:

Continental: Southern America
Regional: Western South America
Bolivia (Chuquisaca, Cochabamba, Santa Cruz, Tarija)

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition

Don, D. 1822: Botanical Register. London 8: t. 631. =
Decaisne, J. (1873)


Govaerts, R. et al. 2019. Jacaranda mimosifolia in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published online. Accessed: 2019 Apr. 27. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2019. Jacaranda mimosifolia. Published online. Accessed: Apr. 27 2019.
The Plant List 2013. Jacaranda mimosifolia in The Plant List Version 1.1. Published online. Accessed: 2019 Apr. 27. 2019. Jacaranda mimosifolia. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published online. Accessed: 27 Apr. 2019.
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Jacaranda mimosifolia in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: 07-Oct-06.

Vernacular names
čeština: žakaranda mimózolistá
Deutsch: Palisanderholzbaum
English: Blue Jacaranda
español: Jacarandá, Tarco, Palisandro
suomi: Jakaranda
français: Flamboyant bleu
Avañe'ẽ: Jacaranda
magyar: Mimózalevelű zsakaranda
português: Jacarandá-mimoso
slovenčina: žakaranda mimózolistá
Tiếng Việt: Phượng tím

Jacaranda mimosifolia is a sub-tropical tree native to south-central South America that has been widely planted elsewhere because of its attractive and long-lasting violet-colored flowers. It is also known as the jacaranda, blue jacaranda, black poui, Nupur or fern tree. Older sources call it J. acutifolia, but it is nowadays more usually classified as J. mimosifolia. In scientific usage, the name "jacaranda" refers to the genus Jacaranda, which has many other members, but in horticultural and everyday usage, it nearly always means the blue jacaranda.

In its native range in the wild, J. mimosifolia is listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN.[1]


The tree grows to a height of up to 20 m (66 ft).[4] Its bark is thin and grey-brown, smooth when the tree is young but eventually becoming finely scaly. The twigs are slender and slightly zigzag; they are a light reddish-brown. The flowers are up to 5 cm (2 in) long, and are grouped in 30 cm (12 in) panicles. They appear in spring and early summer, and last for up to two months. They are followed by woody seed pods, about 5 cm (2 in) in diameter, which contain numerous flat, winged seeds. The blue jacaranda is cultivated for the sake of its large compound leaves, even in areas where it rarely blooms. The leaves are up to 45 cm (18 in) long and bi-pinnately compound, with leaflets little more than 1 cm (0.4 in) long. There is a white form available from nurseries.

The unusually shaped, tough pods, which are 5 to 8 cm (2 to 3 in) across, are often gathered, cleaned and used to decorate Christmas trees and dried arrangements.


The wood is pale grey to whitish, straight-grained, relatively soft and knot-free. It dries without difficulty and is often used in its green or wet state for turnery and bowl carving.
Habitat and range

Jacaranda mimosifolia is native to northwestern Argentina (Salta, Jujuy, and Catamarca provinces) and southern Bolivia. It is found in the Dry Chaco and flooded savannas, and in the Southern Andean Yungas of the eastern Andean piedmont and inter-Andean valleys, up to 2600 meters elevation. In its native range the tree is threatened by uncontrolled logging and clearing of land for agriculture, and is assessed as Vulnerable in the IUCN Red List.[1]

The taxonomic status of the blue jacaranda is unsettled. ITIS regards the older name, J. acutifolia, as a synonym for J. mimosifolia. However, some modern taxonomists maintain the distinction between these two species, regarding them as geographically distinct: J. acutifolia is endemic to Peru, while J. mimosifolia is native to Bolivia and Argentina. If this distinction is made, cultivated forms should be treated as J. mimosifolia, since they are believed to derive from Argentine stock. Other synonyms for the blue jacaranda are J. chelonia and J. ovalifolia. The blue jacaranda belongs to the section Monolobos of the genus Jacaranda.
Ornamental use

The blue jacaranda has been cultivated in almost every part of the world where there is no risk of frost; established trees, however, tolerate brief spells of temperatures down to around −7 °C (19 °F).[5] In the US, in areas where winter temperatures can dip to −12 °C (10 °F) for several-hour periods, the mature tree survives with little or no visible damage. Even when young trees are damaged by a hard frost and suffer dieback, they will often rebound from the roots and grow in a shrub-like, multi-stemmed form.[5] However, flowering and growth will be stunted if the jacaranda is grown directly on the California coast, where a lack of heat combined with cool ocean winds discourages flowering.[5]

This plant has won the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[6]

The jacaranda is regarded as an invasive species in parts of South Africa and Queensland, Australia, where it can out-compete native species.[7]
Places known for their jacarandas
Jacarandas in New Farm Park

The city of Grafton on the north coast of New South Wales, Australia, is famous for its jacarandas. Each year in late October and early November, the city has a jacaranda festival.[8]

In the United States, the jacaranda is grown extensively in California, the Southwest, southeast Texas and Florida.[9] Jacaranda can be found throughout most of Southern California, where they were imported by the horticulturalist Kate Sessions.[10] They are also planted as far north as the San Francisco Bay Area and along the frost-free coastal regions of Northern California.[9][11] Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California are known for them.
The first Jacaranda planted in Australia, City Botanic Gardens Brisbane, painting by Richard Godfrey Rivers in 1903

Jacarandas can be found in many parts of Mexico City and are usually in full bloom in March.

It's one of the most common trees in Argentina's capital city.[12] In Europe the jacaranda is grown on the Mediterranean coast of Spain (it is prominent in the Valencian Community, the Balearic Islands and Andalusia, with especially large specimens present in Valencia, Alicante and Seville, and usually with earlier flowering than in the rest of Europe), in southern Portugal (notably in Lisbon), southern Italy (Naples and Cagliari have many mature specimens), southern Greece (especially Athens) and the islands of Malta and Cyprus. It was introduced to Cape Town by Baron, the administrative capital of South Africa; Johannesburg, the economic hub of South Africa; Lusaka, the capital of Zambia; Gaborone, the capital of Botswana; Nairobi, the capital of Kenya; Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe;Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal and Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, and Jharkhand states in India.
In popular culture

Pretoria, the administrative capital of South Africa, is popularly and poetically known as Jacaranda City or Jakarandastad in Afrikaans because of the large number of trees, which turn the city blue when they flower in spring. The name Jakarandastad is frequently used in Afrikaans songs, such as in Staan Op by Kurt Darren. The jacaranda trees, far from their native Brazil, bloom every October. Water scarcity has South Africa trying to eradicate foreign species of plants and trees, including the jacaranda. Acknowledging the tree's popularity with locals, the government has announced that it will not remove the trees, but has banned the planting of new jacarandas.[13]

The Australian Christmas song "Christmas Where The Gum Trees Grow" makes reference to jacaranda trees, as the blooms are only seen in summer time—as the song explains, "When the bloom of the jacaranda tree is here, Christmas time is near".[14] The movie musical set in Colombia, Encanto, references the plant in the song "What Else Can I Do". Isabela Madrigal explores her plant-summoning powers, she creates, and mentions by line, "a hurricane of jacarandas".[15] The University of Queensland in Brisbane is particularly well known for its ornamental jacarandas, and a common maxim among students holds that the blooming of the jacarandas signals the time for serious study for end-of-year exams.[16]

In Argentina, writer Alejandro Dolina, in his book Crónicas del Ángel Gris (Chronicles of the Gray Angel), tells the legend of a massive jacarandá tree, planted in Plaza Flores in Buenos Aires, that was able to whistle tango songs on demand. María Elena Walsh dedicated her song Canción del Jacarandá to the tree. Miguel Brascó's folk song Santafesino de veras mentions the aroma of jacarandá as a defining feature of the littoral Santa Fe Province (along with the willows growing by the rivers).
Jacarandas in Avenida Santa Fe, Buenos Aires. quadrangle; its blooms were popularly associated with exam time.[17] The tree collapsed in October 2016.[18]

Purple panic is a term used by students in south-east Queensland for student stress during the period of late spring and early summer. The "purple" refers to the flowers of Jacaranda trees, which bloom at that time and have been extensively planted throughout that district. The "panic" refers to the need to be completing assignments and studying for final exams.[19]

The Jacaranda when in bloom is also known as the exam tree.[19]

Conversely, while the time of year the jacarandas bloom in Pretoria coincides with the year-end exams at the University of Pretoria, legend has it there that if a flower from a jacaranda drops on a student's head, the student will pass all their exams.[20][21]

Hills, R. (2020). "Jacaranda mimosifolia". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2020: e.T32027A68135641. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2020-3.RLTS.T32027A68135641.en. Retrieved 2 April 2022.
"Jacaranda mimosifolia". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 2008-03-09.
The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species, retrieved 10 September 2016
Agroforestry Database 4.0 (Orwa et al. 2009)
Kathleen Norris Brenzel (2007). Sunset Western Garden Book. Sunset Publishing Group. p. 415.
"Jacaranda mimosifolia". Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 25 September 2020.
"Jacaranda mimosifolia (Jacaranda)". BioNET-EAFRINET. Retrieved 2021-10-30.
"Jacaranda Festival Grafton".
Edward F. Gilman and Dennis G. Watson2 (November 1993). "Jacaranda Mimosifolia Fact Sheet" (PDF). Retrieved 2019-02-21.
Howser, Huell. "#15006 Jacaranda". California's Gold. Archived from the original on 2013-01-12.
Buzz Bertolero (2006-10-06). "Jacaranda trees growing in popularity in Bay Area". East Bay Times. Retrieved 2019-02-21.
La Nación - August 28th, 2019
"South Africa's deep-rooted problem: Unwelcome trees". Christian Science Monitor. 3 August 2001.
"CHRISTMAS WHERE THE GUM TREES GROW - Lyrics - International Lyrics Playground". Lyrics Playground. Retrieved June 16, 2022.
Diane Guerrero & Stephanie Beatriz – What Else Can I Do?, retrieved 2022-01-26
UQ Centenary 2010 - Jacaranda and Sandstone
"Australians mourn tree that 'failed' university students". BBC News. 2016-10-31. Retrieved 2016-10-31.
"University community mourns jacaranda tree collapse". The University of Sydney. Retrieved 2016-11-06.
"Jacarandas signal 'purple panic'". The Chronicle. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
"It's Purple Paradise as Jacarandas Bloom & Exams start soon!". SA people NEWS. 2014-10-27. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
"The Jacaranda City". ShowMe South Africa. Retrieved 29 February 2016.

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