Ajuntament de Barcelona

Jacaranda mimosifolia

Hortes de Sant Bertran and Forestier's stairs

    Catalan name: 
    Spanish name: 
    Jacaranda, jacarandá
    English name: 
    Blue jacaranda
    Botanical synonyms: 
    Jacaranda chelonia, Jacaranda ovalifolia, Jacaranda heteroptila, Jacaranda acutifolia

    According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the conservation status of this plant is vulnerable.

    Species characteristics
    Brazil, Paraguay and northern Argentina
    Tropical deciduous forests

    Semiperennial tree 6-12 m tall, with an irregular ovoid crown 4-6 m wide. The bark is smooth and greyish brown when young and becomes rougher, more clefted and darker as the years pass.

    The leaves are alternate and compound, 30-50 cm long, composed of 25-30 pairs of small oval and apiculate leaflets (1 cm long), light greyish-green coloured both on the upper side and on the lower side. The violet-blue bell-shaped tubular flowers, 4-5 cm long, have five uneven lobes and are grouped into inflorescences forming very eye-catching terminal panicles, 20-30 cm long. The fruit is a dun dehiscent (it opens spontaneously to release the seeds) flat woody capsule, 6 cm long, with castanet shape and numerous small seeds.

    Flowering time: 
    Late spring-early summer
    Fruiting time: 
    Late autumn
    Uses and properties: 

    Blue Jacaranda is used in medicine and industry. Its wood, in a cream and pink tonality and with a pleasant smell, is used in cabinet making and carpentry, specially in the automotive industry for luxury cars.

    Also used in gardening and urban landscaping, both in streets and parks, because of its soft leaves and spectacular blossoming, although it needs much space because of its wide and rounded peak.

    By the end of Spring is the best time of the year for planting them since it is not resilient to freeze conditions.

    History and curiosities: 

    The scientific name of the blue jacaranda, Jacaranda mimosifolia, comes from the Guarani jacarandá, "fragrant" and also the name of this tree in Guarani, and from the Latin mimosifolia, "with leaves resembling the mimosa leaves", from mimosa, "mimosa", and folia, "leaf".

    At the Lisboan parks and avenues (Eduardo VII park, Largo do Carmo, 5 de Outubro and D. Carlos I avenues and Royal Prince area) there are many blue jacarandas which blossom in May and are a recurrent element in Portuguese literary texts and news.

    For further information: 

    LÓPEZ GONZÁLEZ, Ginés A. Los árboles y arbustos de la Península Ibérica e Islas Baleares. (2 vol.) Madrid: Mundi-Prensa, 2001

    THE ROYAL HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY. Enciclopedia de plantas y flores. Barcelona: Grijalbo, 1996