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.
Typically planted between fall and early spring, the jacaranda tree can be considered semi-evergreen or deciduous, depending on where it lives. Only mature jacaranda— eight years or older—will flower, blooming in late spring to early summer (though in warmer areas, the tree can flower at any time). Native to South America, it is an invasive species in several parts of the world.
- Common Name: Jacaranda tree, black poui, blue jacaranda
- Botanical Name: Jacaranda mimosifoila
- Family: Bignoniaceae
- Plant Type: Flowering tree
- Mature Size: 25–50 ft. tall, 15–30 ft. wide
- Sun Exposure: Full
- Soil Type: Sandy, well-drained
- Soil pH: Neutral to acidic
- Bloom Time: Spring, summer
- Flower Color: Purple, blue-purple
- Hardiness Zones: 10 and 11 (USDA)
- Native Area: South America
How to Plant and Care for a Jacaranda Tree
Choose the spot for your tree wisely. One piece of jacaranda tree information that many nurseries and catalogs don’t share is that when the flowers drop, they cover the ground in a thick layer and must be raked up before they decompose into slime. An afternoon with a rake will do the trick, but this is the reason so many jacarandas are planted as street trees, allowing most of the spent blooms to fall on the street instead of in the yard. Plant the tree in an open spot with sandy soil and full sun. Keep the soil moist deep down by soaking it with a hose for half an hour, but letting it dry out in between waterings.
Care for a jacaranda tree almost always includes pruning. In order to give it the best shape to show off those blooms, smaller branches should be trimmed early in the spring. Clip off suckers that grow vertically and keep one main trunk with some major branches leading off from the middle. Keep excess branches cut, to prevent the weight of the tree from splitting the trunk