Jacaranda (tropical tree)

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Jacaranda (tropical tree)

***** Location: Tropics
***** Season: Tropical Long Rain (Kenya)

.....................various in other regions
***** Category: Plant


The Jacaranda tree puts on a breathtaking floral display. Its vivid lilac-blue clusters of trumpet shaped blossoms appear in the summer, later falling to the earth carpeting the ground with a mass of color. It is said that if you are walking underneath the Jacaranda tree and one of the trumpet blossoms falls on your head you will be favored by fortune.

The Jacaranda tree is striking when it’s lilac-blue floral show dominates the landscape, December in Melbourne. Many people believe this tree to be native to Australia but its origin is Brazil and other parts of tropical and sub-tropical South America. It is naturally found in the high and dry deserts of Brazil thus in Melbourne after a dryer year floral displays are better.

Jacarandas prefer a warm coastal climate that is frost-free or where light frost occurs. J. mimosifolia will grow well in the suburbs of Melbourne where the average rainfall exceeds about 650mm.


Pretoria -- the Jacaranda City

The administrative capital of South Africa, Pretoria / Tshwane lies about 50 km north of Johannesburg. The population, just under a million, consists mainly of officials, and in Pretoria life goes at a much slower pace than in the hectic Johannesburg. It is quite easy for the visitor to find his or her way through the city, which is laid out like a chess board. Pretoria lies 1367 m above sea level, which makes it about 400 m lower than Johannesburg. It is surrounded by protecting mountains. The climate is subtropical with hot, wet summers and relatively mild, dry winters.

The nicest time for a visit is spring, when in October more than 70,000 Jacaranda trees are in full bloom. Then the whole town is one big purple-coloured and sweet-smelling sea of blossoms. The exotic trees were imported from South America some 100 years ago and gave the town its nickname: "Jacaranda City."


Pretoria is the capital of South Africa.
Every year in mid October 68000 jacaranda trees bloom in a riot of lilac colors.

The city's center piece is the beautifully situated Union Building, where the Presidents offices are located. The beautiful gardens surrounding it are a great tourist attraction. They are often used concert with famous name musicians.


CLICK for more photos


..... Some Biological Facts

Current name: Jacaranda mimosifolia
Authority: D. Don
Family: Bignoniaceae
Jacaranda acutifolia Humb. & Bonpl.
Jacaranda ovalifolia R. Br.

Common names
(Amharic) : yetebmenja zaf
(Creole) : flabwayan ble, jakaranda
(English) : Brazilian rose wood, jacaranda, mimosa-leaved jacaranda
(French) : flambouyant bleu
(Spanish) : flamboy·n azul, gualanolay, jacarand, tarco
(Tigrigna) : palasandro

Botanic description
Jacaranda mimosifolia is a deciduous tree up to 20 m in height with spreading branches making a light crown. Bark pale brown and furrowed, transverse cracks dividing the ridges between the furrows into long, narrow scales. The bole almost always short and malformed, and up to 40-50 cm in diameter. Leaves compound and feathery on a stalk to 40 cm; up to 30 pairs of pinnae bearing small, pointed leaflets. Flowers striking blue-violet, in clusters, each flower bell shaped, to 4 cm, usually on the bare tree before leaf growth.

Fruit a rounded woody capsule to 7 cm across with a wavy edge, brown-black when mature, splitting on the tree to set free many light-winged seeds. Capsules may hang on the tree for up to 2 years. The generic name is a latinized form of an aboriginal name used in Brazil.

..... Ecology and distribution
History of cultivation

Jacaranda is native to Brazil and Argentina but has been introduced as an ornamental in most parts of the tropics, though in many tropical climates its flowering is light, irregular and disappointing. It was introduced to Kenya in 1907 to the Nairobi Arboretum and is now an outstanding ornamental tree of the city and district, where it flowers when leafless.

Natural Habitat
J. mimosifolia prefers highland areas but can also grow in some drier ones. It is frost tender when young. A deep-rooted, greedy feeder so that few plants or crops can grow below it; therefore, best planted away from flowerbeds. Leaf fall is also considerable.

Geographic distribution
Native : Argentina, Brazil
Exotic : Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Cyprus, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, French Guiana, Ghana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Martinique, Montserrat, Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, South Africa, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Surinam, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, United States of America, Venezuela, Virgin Islands (US), Zambia, Zimbabwe

Biophysical limits
Altitude: 500-2400 m, Mean annual temperature: Approximately 20 deg. C, Mean annual rainfall: 900-1300 mm or more. Soil type: Grows best on well-drained sandy loam soils, although it will also survive on poor shallow soils. It does not tolerate waterlogged or clay soils.

And another botanical page with illustrations of seed pod (often made into jewellery) and bark :

More photos :

Several African cities are at their finest at the start of the Long Rains, October / November, when the jacarandas lining their main streets are in full bloom. Nairobi is spectacular at that time of year, having been planted with jacaranda in 1907, only a few years after its foundation. Whole valleys appear as though swathed in purple clouds.


- Shared by Rosie Mann -
Joys of Japan, 2012

Worldwide use

"People in Australia sing a Christmas song about Jacaranda trees, as the purple blooms are only seen in summer time - as the song explains,
"When the bloom of the jacaranda tree is here, Christmas time is near.""
kigo for summer

Australia's Tambourine Mountain


In California the jacaranda blooms in the wetter Winter.
Michael Baribeau
.............................. other haiku friends quote
Jacaranda really is a late spring-early summer kigo
also called
Green Ebony or Brazilian Rose Wood.


Central America
"...blooming in March and April (the dry season, often called 'verano'- "summer" in Spanish-speaking Central America, and most equivalent to the season in temperate zones)."
Haiku World
An Internation Poetry Almanac
by William Higginson


Jacaranda tree in Europe = southern part of Europe a season word in April till June, spring to summer.
Erika Schwalm


Beautiful Photos !



jacaranda blossoms
topic for haiku

jacaranda shedding its leaves
kigo for the cold dry season

a sea of gold
around my feet --
jacaranda leaflets

ripples of gold
against the sky --
jacaranda leaflets

Isabelle Prondzynski, August 2010

jacaranda leaves
golden on the roadside--
a sudden breeze

Patrick Wafula



kigo for these seasons

early spring - blue flowers, Jacaranda blossoms
late spring, summer and autumn - tiny green leaves
winter - bare braches

israel balan


jacarandas bloom in spring (september-december) .
In my neighborhood there are plenty of them.
Carlos Fleitas

Things found on the way

A touching story

The Jacaranda Tree
by Oenone Still

CLICK for many more beautiful photos !


Jacaranda wood
made into beautiful furniture in Brazil and Portugal, and carved into figures such as these in Zimbabwe.

CLICK for more animals !


Slum roof
showered in purple petals --
jacaranda spreading above.

Jacaranda road,
trees light and green -- and always
one out of season.

Autumn loneliness –
jacaranda blossom time
fnds me in my dreams...

Isabelle Prondzynski


ti también te gusta
la luz de otoño

... ... ... early evening stroll
... ... ... among the jacaranda flowers
... ... ... the crescent moon

Carlos Fleitas


the sky
interlaced in deeper blue -

hortensia anderson

There are more haiku about this flower in the Shiki Archives.


a vase
of jacaranda blossoms-
the rosewood table

Michael Baribeau


blue sky -
jacaranda blue flowers

Israel Lopez Balan


Haiga by Shanna Moore, Hawaii
WKD : Hawaii Saijiki

Related words




Anonymous said...

Here is a nice haiga by Ashe and haiku by
Victor Gendrano

blue petals scatter
on jacaranda lane
her long absence


anonymous said...

> Jacaranda--
> purple blossoms scatter
> on the young grass

Cale, Kenya, 2009

Gabi Greve said...

fallen leaves -
jacaranda pods dangle
from bare branches

Patrick Wafula

Anonymous said...

I am intrigued about WHO first brought the Jacaranda to Australia - whether it is an individual, a botanical group or anonymous immigrants and how it came to be so prolific throughout Australia. Does anyone out there know the Australian history of the Jacaranda??? Rosina

Gabi Greve said...

a jacaranda
purple canopy
in spring sky

Gennady Nov
Joys of Japan - Poetry

Jacarandas and spring sky in Buenos Aires

Gabi Greve said...

Morning sun
Sound of bliss
From jacaranda's blue.

Mokhtar Sah Malik

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