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Scientific: Jacaranda mimosifolia (Synonyms: Jacaranda chelonia, Jacaranda ovalifolia, Jacaranda acutifolia)
Common: jacaranda
Family: Bignoniaceae
Origin: Northwestern Argentina and adjacent Bolivia into Brazil; widely cultivated in warm and tropical regions around the world.

Invasive alert: Jacaranda is an invasive species in several locations around the world including Queensland, Australia, Hawaii, Chile’s Juan Fernandez Islands, and in the African countries of Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa and Zambia.

Pronounciation: Jac-ka-RAN-da mi-mo-si-FOO-lee-a

Hardiness zones:
Sunset 13, 15-24
USDA 9-11

Landscape Use: Wonderful spring accent tree for mesic (wet and green) desert landscapes, shade tree, lawn tree, park tree, commercial landscapes, street tree in southern and central coastal California. It even makes an exquisite bonsai.

Form & Character: Upright, open, irregular, sometimes round headed, exotic, regal, celestial.

Growth Habit: In Phoenix, jacaranda is a woody perennial tree, briefly deciduous during late winter/early spring, moderate growth rate to 50-feet tall with a near equal spread.

Foliage/Texture: Large, bi-pinnately compound leaves to 20-inches long on coarse, green brittle stems, opposite arrangement, older stems with prominent lenticels; medium texture.

Flowers & Fruits: Clusters of wonderful, terminal, large showy, tubular, lilac-blue flowers; fruits are a hard, circular, dark brown pod, 2-inches wide ripening during the summer and fall.

Seasonal Color: Lilac blue in April/May in low deserts to June in California maritime climates, yellow foliage in winter.

Temperature: Hardy to 27oF. Damaged during the coldest winters in Phoenix.

Light: Full sun, though avoid reflected or western sunlight on the trunk as it is susceptible to sunscald.

Soil: Tolerant except extreme alkalinity, but well drained is preferred.

Watering: Needs deep, regular supplemental watering, especially during the warm time of year to promote a leaf canopy density.

Pruning: Train vigorously when young to promote a standard form, otherwise jacaranda will have multiple trunks. Mature trees in Phoenix will need periodic removal of dead branches ('dead wooding'). Crown raising in desert landscape sites should be practiced VERY conservatively, only as needed, because of this tree's high susceptibility to trunk sunscald injury.

Propagation: Seed and/or softwood cuttings.

Disease and Pests: Various root and stem rot pathogens seem to love to feast on jacaranda wood, partcularly after abiotic injury (sun, heat and cold).

Additional comments: Jacaranda is an occassionally beautiful tree that is HIGHLY susceptible to high temperature trunkscald injury and sometimes low temperature freezing injury in Phoenix. Because of this, I do not advocate extensive use of this otherwise gorgeous landscape tree in Phoenix landscapes. Jacaranda is the great skyline tree of Santa Barbara, California. In short, this is a `California' landscape tree that is a marginal performer in Phoenix because of our supraoptimal (blazing hot!) summer temperatures. Occasionally though, winter weather will cooperate and such was the case in the 1997-98, 2002-03, 2004-05, and 2022-23 winters when copious rains induced a spectacular spring floral display. The Jacaranda cultivar 'Alba' produces brilliant white flowers, but is rare. Jacaranda trees produce moderate amounts of leaf, flower and fruit litter.

Horticultural musings: Jacaranda was brought to the American Southwest by botanist, horticulturists, and landscape architect, Kate Sessions (1857-1940).