Jacaranda is one of the most striking flowering plants you can grow in your garden, featuring fern-like leaves and bright purple flowers in spring and summer.
Jacaranda At A Glance
There are about 50 different species of Jacaranda to choose from, some of which are shrubs, and some are trees.
They come from the Bignoniaceae plant family, and hail from subtropical and tropical parts of the Americas.
As they are so widely admired, they have become naturalized in many warm parts of the world.
Jacaranda shrubs and trees vary in height, anywhere between 66 and 98 feet tall at maturity.
The real star of these plants is the flowers, which form huge panicles, either in purple or white.
These flowers are followed by fruit which contains seeds.
These plants are easy to propagate, through cuttings, seeds, and grafting, though raising them by seed takes a long time, and they won’t flower for a few years.
Behind The Name: What Does Jacaranda Mean?
The name comes from the Tupi-Guarani word, meaning fragrant, and it’s both the genus name and the common name.
The Symbolism Behind Jacaranda
The blooms of the Jacaranda symbolize prosperity, renewal, knowledge, and rebirth.
Some people believe that if a Jacaranda flower lands on your head, this is a sign of very good luck.
In some parts of the world, the Jacaranda tree is planted around schools and universities, and if a flower falls on a student, it can be either a sign of passing or failing exams, depending on who you talk to.
If it is a bad sign, it is counteracted by catching a falling flower before it hits the ground.
This plant also has a role in Amazon legend. A striking bird named Mitu flew onto a Jacaranda tree, and a beautiful indigenous priestess jumped down.
Her name was Daughter of the Moon, and she was tasked with sharing her knowledge with the local people, which included recognizing good and evil, among other things.
Once she was done, she returned to the tree which was in full bloom, and the bird took her back to the heavens, where she reunited with her love, the Son of the Sun.
Uses Of Jacaranda
Besides its ornamental value, Jacaranda has healing properties, specifically Jacaranda mimosifolia, and is used to treat hepatitis, leukemia, minor wounds, and skin complaints.
Jacaranda Growing Requirements
Hardy in USDA zones 9 through to 11, Jacaranda will grow in a range of different soils with no problem, as long as it drains well.
As with many plants, mimicking its natural conditions is best, so give it slightly acidic, sandy soil if you can. It won’t need a lot of water, either.
Jacaranda grows well in both full sunlight or partial shade, whichever you happen to have in your garden.
While you might assume that Jacaranda only grows in warm regions, adult Jacaranda plants can withstand some frost, as long as temperatures don’t drop below 19°F (or -7°C).
It’s worth knowing that Jacaranda plants grown in colder areas won’t produce nearly as many flowers, but it will still make a beautiful sight to see.
It is very low maintenance, but you will need to be mindful of where you situate a Jacaranda, as the fallen flowers and seeds can be a nuisance to tidy up after!
It doesn’t help that the blooms are covered in a sticky residue most of the time, and this is not due to the plant itself, but rather the aphids that are attracted to the flowers.
They leave a substance called honeydew after feeding on the flowers, which you’ll also know if you’ve ever had a plant infested by aphids before.