|A flower of Jacaranda mimosifolia|
Jacaranda is a genus of 49 species of flowering plants in the family Bignoniaceae, native to tropical and subtropical regions of Central America, South America, Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica and the Bahamas. It has been planted widely in Asia, especially in Nepal. It is also quite common in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Australia. It has been introduced to most tropical and subtropical regions. The genus name is also used as the common name.
The name is believed to be of Guarani origin, meaning fragrant. The word jacaranda was described in A supplement to Mr. Chambers's Cyclopædia, 1st ed., (1753) as "a name given by some authors to the tree the wood of which is the log-wood, used in dyeing and in medicine" and as being of Tupi-Guarani origin, by way of Portuguese. Although not consistent with the Guarani source, one common pronunciation of the name in English is given by //.
The species are shrubs to large trees ranging in size from 20 to 30 m (66 to 98 ft) tall. The leaves are bipinnate in most species, pinnate or simple in a few species. The flowers are produced in conspicuous large panicles, each flower with a five-lobed blue to purple-blue corolla; a few species have white flowers. The fruit is an oblong to oval flattened capsule containing numerous slender seeds. The genus differs from other genera in the Bignoniaceae in having a staminode that is longer than the stamens, tricolpate pollen, and a chromosome number of 18. This genus thrives in full sun and sandy soils, which explains their abundance in warmer climates. Mature plants can survive in colder climates down to −7 °C (19 °F), however, they may not bloom as profusely. Younger plants are more fragile and may not survive in colder climates when temperatures drop below freezing, so planting of younger trees in pots and moving them into a greenhouse for winter is recommended.
The genus is divided into two sections, sect. Jacaranda (syn. sect. Monolobos, an invalid name as it includes the type species of the genus, J. caerulea) and sect. Dilobos DC., based on the number of thecae on the anthers. Sect. Jacaranda (which includes Blue Jacarandas) has 18 species and is found primarily in Zimbabwe, in North, West and East of Iran, western South America, Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Sect. Dilobos, which is believed to be the primitive form, has 31 species and is found primarily in southeastern Brazil including the Paraná River valley. The anatomy of the wood in the two sections also differs. Although usually treated in sect. Jacaranda, J. copaia differs somewhat from all other members of the genus, and may be intermediate between the two sections (Dos Santos & Miller 1997).
Cultivation and uses
Jacaranda can be propagated from grafting, cuttings and seeds, though plants grown from seeds take a long time to bloom. Jacaranda grows in well drained soil and tolerates drought and brief spells of frost and freeze.
Several species are widely grown as ornamental plants throughout the subtropical regions of the world, valued for their intense flower displays. The most often seen is the Blue Jacaranda Jacaranda mimosifolia (syn. J. acutifolia hort. non Bonpl.). Other members of the genus are also commercially important; for example the Copaia (Jacaranda copaia) is important for its timber because of its exceptionally long bole.
Brazilian Jacaranda is also used as the wood for the body of acoustic guitars.
- Gentry, A. W.; Morawetz, W. (1992). "Bignoniaceae: Part II (Tribe Tecomeae)". Flora Neotropica. 25 (2): 51–104. JSTOR 4393739.
- "Jacaranda mimosifolia - Parcs i Jardins - Itineraris". bcn.cat.
- Oxford English Dictionary 2nd Ed. (1989)
- "Jacaranda". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 2012-03-07.
- "Jacaranda". Merriam Webster. Retrieved 2012-03-07.
- Wells, John C. (2009). "jacaranda". Longman Pronunciation Dictionary. London: Pearson Longman. ISBN 978-1-4058-8118-0.
- "Jacaranda Tree". The Lovely Plants.
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- Germplasm Resources Information Network: Jacaranda
- Dos Santos, G., & Miller, R. B. (1997). Wood anatomy of Jacaranda (Bignoniaceae): Systematic relationships in sections Monolobos and Dilobos as suggested by twig and stem rays. IAWA Journal 18: 369-383. Available online (pdf file).
- Goodna Jacaranda Festival at Evan Marginson Park, Goodna
- Agroforestry Tree Database
- Jacaranda Festival, Grafton
- Song of the Jacaranda by Maria Elena Walsh and Palito Ortega, popular Argentinean children song