Thursday, May 16, 2013

Tree Thursday - Jacaranda

Jacaranda – Jacaranda mimosifolia

Over the last few weeks, you may have noticed a beautiful splash of blue flowers within our tree canopy.  This is the Jacaranda or Jacaranda mimosifolia. The tree is originally from Brazil and Argentina but has found a welcome home in South Florida.  Blue flowers are rare in the plant world, especially trees, so it offers a contrast to the yellows and reds that are more common.  You can find Jacarandas along Victoria Park Road and a few other areas in Fort Lauderdale.  When the tree is not in bloom it can be confused with the Royal Poinciana because it does have the same type of bipinnately compound leaves with finely textured foliage.  The one way I have found to distinguish the two is that the leaflets on the Jacaranda are pointed where the leaflets on the Royal Poinciana are rounded.  The Jacaranda most of the time has a more upright growth habit over the weeping Royal Poinciana. 
Unfortunately, when trying to purchase Jacarandas over the last few years, it’s been hard to get good specimens.  Hopefully this will change because they are such beautiful trees in bloom and provide nice shade year-round. 

Typical Height – 35-45 feet in South Florida
Growth Rate – Fast
Salt Tolerance – Low
Drought Tolerance - High