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Blue Jacaranda
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Lamiales
Family: Bignoniaceae
Genus: Jacaranda
Species: J. mimosifolia
Binomial name
Jacaranda mimosifolia
D.Don[1]

The Blue Jacaranda, Jacaranda mimosifolia more often known simply as the "Jacaranda", is a sub-tropical tree native to South America that has been widely planted elsewhere because of its beautiful and long-lasting blue flowers. Older sources give it the systematic name Jacaranda acutifolia, but it is nowadays more usually classified as Jacaranda mimosifolia. It is also known as the Black Poui, or as the fern tree. 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.

Contents

Habitat

The Blue Jacaranda has been cultivated in almost every part of the world where there is no risk of frost; established trees can however tolerate brief spells of temperatures down to around −7°C (20°F). In the United States, it can be grown in many southern states, if necessary in containers. It is only regarded as naturalised in Miami-Dade County, Florida and Hawaii. It grows well also in California (southern north to Oakland) and Southern Texas[2], and has been reported to grow in Lafayette, southern Louisiana[3], the Mediterranean coast of Spain, in southern Portugal (very noticeably in Lisbon), southern Italy (in Naples there are beautiful specimens). It is regarded as an invasive species in South Africa and Queensland, Australia, the latter of which has had problems with the Blue Jacaranda preventing growth of native species. Lusaka, the capital of Zambia also sees the growth of many Jacarandas.

J. mimosifolia flowers
J. mimosifolia fruits
A jacaranda seed pod, before falling.

Appearance

The tree grows to a height of 5 to 15 metres. Its bark is thin and grey-brown in colour, smooth when the tree is young though it eventually becomes finely scaly. The twigs are slender and slightly zigzag; they are a light reddish-brown in colour. The flowers are up to 5 cm long, and are grouped in 30 cm 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 in diameter, which contain numerous winged seeds. The Blue Jacaranda is cultivated even in areas where it rarely blooms, for the sake of its large compound leaves. These are up to 45 cm long and bi-pinnately compound, with leaflets little more than 1 cm long.

Taxonomy

The taxonomic status of the Blue Jacaranda is unsettled. ITIS regards the older name, Jacaranda 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 Jacaranda chelonia and J. ovalifolia. The Blue Jacaranda belongs to the section Monolobos of the genus Jacaranda.

Tree in flower
Jacaranda trees in Bhutan

Popular culture references

Pretoria, the administrative capital of South Africa is popularly and poetically known as Jacaranda City or Jakarandastad in Afrikaans because of the huge number of the trees which turn the city blue when they flower in the spring. The name Jakarandastad is frequently used in Afrikaans songs, such as Staan Op by Kurt Darren.

People in Australia sing a Christmas song about 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" ...

For full lyrics, go here: http://lyricsplayground.com/alpha/songs/xmas/christmaswherethegumtreesgrow.shtml

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 (Flores Square) in Buenos Aires, which was able to whistle tango songs on demand. María Elena Walsh dedicated her Canción del Jacarandá song to the tree. Also 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).

British singer songwriter Steve Tilston eulogizes the beautiful blue tree he encounters in Australia with his song Jacaranda (track 11 on his album Ziggurat, 2008).

Medicinal uses

Water extract of Jacaranda mimosifolia shows higher antimicrobial action against Bacillus cereus and Escherichia coli than gentamicin sulfate[4] does. The extract also acts against Staphylococcus aureus.[4]

Gallery

See also

References

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Notes

Bibliography

External links


Wikispecies

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies

Jacaranda mimosifolia

Taxonavigation

Classification System: APG II (down to family level)

Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiospermae
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Euasterids I
Ordo: Lamiales
Familia: Bignoniaceae
Tribus: Tecomeae
Genus: Jacaranda
Species: Jacaranda mimosifolia

Name

Jacaranda mimosifolia D.Don

References

  • Botanical Register; Consisting of Coloured Figures of Exotic Plants Cultivated in British Gardens; with their History and Mode of Treatment. London 8: t. 631. 1822
  • USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Data from 07-Oct-06]. [1]

Vernacular names

Avañe'ẽ: Jacaranda
Deutsch: Palisanderholzbaum
English: Blue Jacaranda
Español: Jacaranda mimosifolia
Français: Flamboyant bleu
Português: Jacarandá-mimoso
Tiếng Việt: Phượng tím
Wikimedia Commons For more multimedia, look at Jacaranda mimosifolia on Wikimedia Commons.

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