Jacaranda mimosifolia: Jacaranda1

Edward F. Gilman, Dennis G. Watson, Ryan W. Klein, Andrew K. Koeser, Deborah R. Hilbert, and Drew C. McLean 2

Introduction

Soft, delicate, fernlike, deciduous foliage and dense terminal clusters of lavender-blue, lightly fragrant, trumpet-shaped flowers make this large, spreading tree an outstanding specimen planting. The striking blooms can appear any time from April through August (most often May), and are sometimes present before the fresh, new, light green leaves appear in spring. Flowering is reportedly best following a winter with several nights in the upper 30's. Jacaranda may flower best when grown in poor soil. Jacarandas can reach 25 to 40 feet in height with an equal or greater spread, and the bent or arching trunks are covered with light brown bark.

Figure 1. Full Form - Jacaranda mimosifolia: jacaranda
Figure 1.  Full Form - Jacaranda mimosifolia: jacaranda
Credit: UF/IFAS

General Information

Scientific name: Jacaranda mimosifolia

Pronunciation: jack-uh-RAN-duh mih-moe-sih-FOLE-ee-uh

Common name(s): jacaranda

Family: Bignoniaceae

USDA hardiness zones: 9B through 11 (Figure 2)

Origin: native to southern and central South America

UF/IFAS Invasive Assessment Status: not considered a problem species at this time, may be recommended (North, Central, South)

Uses: parking lot island 100-200 sq ft; parking lot island > 200 sq ft; street without sidewalk; tree lawn > 6 ft wide; shade; specimen

Figure 2. Range
Figure 2.  Range

Description

Height: 25 to 40 feet

Spread: 45 to 60 feet

Crown uniformity: irregular

Crown shape: vase, spreading

Crown density: open

Growth rate: fast

Texture: fine

Foliage

Leaf arrangement: alternate

Leaf type: bipinnately compound, odd-pinnately compound; made up of 20 secondary leaflets per primary leaflet

Leaf margin: entire

Leaf shape: obovate, rhomboid

Leaf venation: unknown

Leaf type and persistence: deciduous

Leaf blade length: 9 to 18 inches; primary leaflets are 5 inches; secondary leaflets are ¼ inch

Leaf color: green

Fall color: no color change

Fall characteristic: not showy

Figure 3. Full Form - Jacaranda mimosifolia: jacaranda
Figure 3.  Full Form - Jacaranda mimosifolia: jacaranda
Credit: UF/IFAS

Flower

Flower color: lavender to violet purple

Flower characteristics: very showy; lightly fragrant; emerges on numerous 12-18" long panicles

Flowering: spring and summer

Figure 4. Flower - Jacaranda mimosifolia: jacaranda
Figure 4.  Flower - Jacaranda mimosifolia: jacaranda
Credit: UF/IFAS

Fruit

Fruit shape: round, disk-like capsule

Fruit length: 3 inches

Fruit covering: dry or hard

Fruit color: brown

Fruit characteristics: does not attract wildlife; not showy; fruit/leaves a litter problem

Figure 5. Fruit - Jacaranda mimosifolia: jacaranda
Figure 5.  Fruit - Jacaranda mimosifolia: jacaranda
Credit: UF/IFAS
Figure 6. Fruit Open - Jacaranda mimosifolia: jacaranda
Figure 6.  Fruit Open - Jacaranda mimosifolia: jacaranda
Credit: UF/IFAS

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/branches: branches droop; showy; typically one trunk; no thorns

Bark: light brown, smooth, becoming blocky and rough with age

Pruning requirement: needed for strong structure

Breakage: susceptible to breakage

Current year twig color: gray, brown

Current year twig thickness: thick

Wood specific gravity: unknown

Figure 7. Bark - Jacaranda mimosifolia: jacaranda
Figure 7.  Bark - Jacaranda mimosifolia: jacaranda
Credit: Gritta Hasing, UF/IFAS

Culture

Light requirement: full sun

Soil tolerances: sand; loam; clay; slightly alkaline; acidic; well-drained

Drought tolerance: high

Aerosol salt tolerance: none

Other

Roots: can form large surface roots

Winter interest: no

Outstanding tree: no

Ozone sensitivity: unknown

Verticillium wilt susceptibility: unknown

Pest resistance: resistant to pests/diseases

Use and Management

The light, dappled shade makes jacaranda well-suited for cooling patios, but it probably should not be used near pools due to the abundant leaf and flower drop. Jacaranda makes an ideal street tree, creating a spectacular sight when in full bloom. The arching branch habit is ideal for creating a canopy over a street or boulevard. Be sure to plant only those trees which have one central trunk and major limbs well-spaced apart for street tree and other high-use areas. Unpruned trees can become hazardous as they split apart at the crotches. Once properly trained and pruned, jacaranda is fairly strong-wooded and less messy than royal poinciana.

Heaviest-flowering when grown in full sun, small trees of jacaranda can tolerate light shade and will grow quickly. They thrive in sandy, well-drained soils but should be watered during dry periods. Prune branches so they remain less than half the diameter of the trunk to help keep the plant intact and increase durability.

'Alba' is a white-flowered cultivar which has a longer blooming period but sparser blooms. There are other cultivars available.

Propagation is by softwood cuttings, grafting, or by seed. Seedlings often take a long time to bloom so grafted trees or those rooted from cuttings are preferred.

Pests

No pests are of major concern.

Diseases

Mushroom root rot is a problem on poorly-drained soil.

Reference

Koeser, A. K., Hasing, G., Friedman, M. H., and Irving, R. B. 2015. Trees: North & Central Florida. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

Footnotes

1. This document is ENH476, one of a series of the Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date November 1993. Revised December 2018. Visit the EDIS website at https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu for the currently supported version of this publication.
2. Edward F. Gilman, professor emeritus, Environmental Horticulture Department; Dennis G. Watson, former associate professor, Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department; Ryan W. Klein, graduate assistant, Environmental Horticulture Department; Andrew K. Koeser, assistant professor, Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education Center; Deborah R. Hilbert, graduate assistant, Environmental Horticulture Department, GCREC; and Drew C. McLean, biological scientist, Environmental Horticulture Department, GCREC; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

Publication #ENH476

Date: 2019-04-28
Southern Trees Fact Sheets

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Contacts

  • Andrew Koeser