Characteristics of Jacaranda Tree (Jacaranda mimosifolia) in the Wild

Jacaranda mimosifolia
Jacaranda is a sub-tropical tree originating from South America that has been widely planted elsewhere because of its attractive and long-lasting flowers.

Jacaranda has been cultivated in almost every country in the world in which there is no frozen climate. However, old and woody jacaranda trees can grow at temperatures up to around -7 °C (19 °F).

In the US, 48 km east of Los Angeles, winter temperatures can drop to -12 °C (10 °F) for several hours, old jacaranda trees can survive, even when frost covers their branches.

Jacaranda trees grow widely in California, southwest Arizona, southeast Texas, and Florida. In California, they grow most extensively in Southern California, but generally in the north to the San Francisco Bay Area and along with the ice-free coastal areas in Northern California.

In Europe, jacaranda trees grow throughout the Mediterranean coast of Spain, southern Portugal, southern Italy, southern Greece, the Maltese Islands, and Cyprus jacaranda trees usually flower earlier than other European flower trees.

The jacaranda tree was introduced to Cape Town by Baron von Ludwig around 1829. It is considered an invasive species in parts of South Africa and Australia.

Pretoria in South Africa is known as the City of Jacaranda because of the large number of jacaranda trees planted as shrubs, parks, and gardens. When flowering, the city looks blue when viewed from the hills.

Still in Pretoria, the jacaranda tree there is also known as the test tree. Where is the season when the jacaranda flower blooms in Pretoria to coincide with the end of year exams at the University of Pretoria. Local legend says that if a flower from a jacaranda tree falls on a student’s head, the student will pass the test.

 

Characteristics of Jacaranda Leaf

Jacaranda mimosifolia Leaf
Source : flickr.com/Christine NZ.2020

The leaves are compound with two pins and have a length of up to 45 cm, with a leaflet of about 1 cm.

 

Characteristics of Jacaranda Flower

Jacaranda mimosifolia Flower
Source : flickr.com/11299883

Jacaranda flowers have a length of up to 5 cm and are grouped in panicles of 30 cm. The flowers appear in spring until early summer and last for up to two months.

 

Characteristics of Jacaranda Fruit

Jacaranda mimosifolia Fruit
Source : flickr.com/Forest and Kim Starr

Jacaranda pods, about 5-7 cm in diameter, and contain many seeds. The ripe fruits are often used to decorate Christmas trees and handicrafts.

 

Characteristics of the Jacaranda Tree

Jacaranda mimosifolia Tree
Source : flickr.com/Vince Basile

Jacaranda trees can grow to a height of 20 meters. The bark is thin and brownish gray, smooth when the tree is young, and becomes flaky when the tree is old. The twigs are slender and slightly zig-zag, reddish-brown.

The taxonomic status of jacaranda is still debated to this day. ITIS (Integrated Taxonomic Information System) considers the name Jacaranda acutifolia, as a synonym for Jacaranda mimosifolia. However, some modern taxonomists maintain differences between these two species, because geographically they are different, Jacaranda acutifolia is endemic in Peru, while Jacaranda mimosifolia is a plant native to Bolivia and Argentina.

If this distinction is made, this form of cultivation must be treated as Jacaranda mimosifolia, because they are believed to originate from Argentina. Other synonyms for jacaranda are Jacaranda chelonia and Jacaranda ovalifolia.

 
BENEFITS OF JACARANDA TREE

Researchers revealed extracts of certain parts of the jacaranda tree showed higher antimicrobial action in vitro against Bacillus cereus and Escherichia coli than gentamicin sulfate. This extract also acts against Staphylococcus aureus in vitro.

 

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