Jacaranda Mimosifolia Also known as: Blue Jacaranda, Fern Tree
A sub-tropical tree native to south-central South America that has been widely planted elsewhere because of its beautiful and long-lasting lavender-blue lightly fragrant flowers. The bell shaped blooms are up to 5 cm (2.0 in) long, and are grouped in 30 cm (12 in) panicles. They appear in spring and early summer, and last for up to two months. Flowering is reportedly best when planted in poor soil and following a winter with several nights in the upper 30's. They are followed by woody seed pods, about 5 cm (2.0 in) in diameter, which contain numerous flat, winged seeds. The tree grows to a height of 5 to 15 m (16 to 49 ft). Its bark is thin and grey-brown in color, 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 color. Soft, delicate, fernlike, deciduous foliage gives this tree a very tropical appearance.
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. The arching branch habit is ideal for creating a canopy over a street or boulevard, creating a spectacular sight when in full bloom. 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. It 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 (19 °F). In the USA where winter temperatures can dip to −12 °C (10 °F) for short several-hour periods, the mature tree survives with little or no visible damage. In the United States, it grows in parts of Oregon, California, Nevada, Arizona, Texas and Florida.
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