What is a Jacaranda Tree?

Dee S.
Dee S.

The Jacaranda tree is a beautiful flowering tree that is native to areas of the Caribbean, Mexico, South America and Central America; however, it is extremely popular across Australia, Israel, Africa, and the southwestern portion of the United States. Depending on the species, it can range anywhere from a shrub 6 feet (2 m) tall to a picturesque tree 45 feet (18 m) tall. Its leaves resemble a feather and its flowers vary from purple to blue to white. In the autumn months, the leaves of the Jacaranda tree turn yellow in color and both the leaves and the brilliant blossoms fall to the ground.

Man mowing the grass
Man mowing the grass

Pests are not troublesome for the Jacaranda tree. In fact, although it has countless flute-like blossoms, it is a rather hardy tree. It grows best in areas of direct sunlight with rich soil that drains well. If it is planted in soil that does not drain well, it can contract mushroom root rot. In addition, if it is planted close to a sidewalk, its roots can lift the sidewalks or become a hindrance when mowing the lawn.

For those interested in propagating the Jacaranda tree, it is typically done by seed, grafting, or softwood cuttings. If seedlings are grown, it can take a long period of time for them to bloom. As a result, most horticulturists prefer to graft the trees or take roots from cuttings.

Although the Jacaranda tree is clearly loved and valued for its aesthetics, it also has other important uses. One of the most popular varieties is the Blue Jacaranda. Its flowers are a striking sight in any town or lining any street. It is perfect for cooling patios or other sunny spots, especially since it can grow to 60 feet (18 m) wide. Other species of the Jacaranda have additional uses. For example, the Jacaranda copaia is used for its timber and the making of furniture, plywood, wood boxes, matchsticks, and paper.

In Grafton, Northern Rivers New South Wales, Australia, the Jacaranda Festival is held every year from the last weekend of October until the first weekend of November – during the area’s spring-season. It was Australia’s first folk festival and has been around since 1935. It is a celebration of the generosity that nature bestowed on the people of the region and is based on the marvelous sight provided by the many flowering Jacaranda trees in Grafton. Through the course of the festival many fun festivities take place, such as the crowning of the Jacaranda Princess and Queen and the Jacaranda ball.

Dee S.
Dee S.

Dee is a freelance writer based in Colorado. She has a B.A. in English Literature, as well as a law degree. Dee is especially interested in topics relating to medicine, legal issues, and home improvement, which are her specialty when contributing to wiseGEEK.

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Discussion Comments


I'm mainly interested to know how the Jacaranda trees turn from totally green (leaves) to solid lavender flowers (in St. petersburg, Fl). It amazes me. Any answers? --Brigitta


how good are they in the frost say like in austin tx? do the leaves turn brown?


I had always wondered what a jacaranda tree was -- I grew up in the North with a bunch of maple trees, but I always read about jacaranda tress in books.

I'm really glad that I came across this article and learned what they look like and where they grow. This article was just so helpful; an excellent introduction to basic jacaranda tree information.

Thanks, wisegeek!


When I get married, I want to have jacaranda tree flowers in my bouquet -- I think they are just so gorgeous. Blue jacarandas are my favorite, although of course the yellow and purple ones are beautiful too.

I'm so glad that you all provided such good jacaranda tree information -- the jacaranda mimosifolia tree is such a wonderful lady of a tree, but a surprisingly large number of people have never heard of them.

I was lucky enough to grow up near several, so I was addicted to them from a young age. I know that when I get my permanent home, I will definitely be buying jacaranda tree seeds to start growing my own.


I've always thought that jacaranda trees were kind of like the American version of Japanese cherry trees -- they're just so beautiful when they're in bloom.

I do agree with @obsessedwithloopy though, they do shed like crazy when they start to drop their flowers. You might want to take that into consideration before you buy a jacaranda tree.

Its easy to get caught up in the beauty of the jacaranda tree photos and not realize how much work they can be, what with all the tree trimming and fertilizer and what not.

But if you're willing to put in the work, then this is a truly beautiful tree, and I've found that most people who have them really do love them.


Jacaranda trees are such a beautiful sight when in bloom, however, the flowers create a big mess. The flowers are somewhat sticky, so they attach to the bottom of the shoes and get carried around.

I used to have a beautiful tree in front of my house, but there was no end to my sweeping around it.

I have noticed tho that if you do a more serious tree trim it will cut back on flower production.

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