Blue Jacaranda (Jacaranda Mimosifolia)

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Jacaranda mimosifolia is a sub-tropical tree native to south-central South America that has been widely planted elsewhere because of its attractive and long-lasting violet-colored flowers. It is also known as the Jacaranda, Blue Jacaranda, Black Poui, Nupur or Fern tree. Older sources call it J. acutifolia, but it is nowadays more usually classified as J. mimosifolia.

The flowers are up to 5 cm (2 in) long, and are grouped in 30 cm (12 in) panicles. They appear in spring and early summer, and last for up to two months. The unusually shaped, tough pods, which are 5 to 8 cm (2 to 3 in) across, are often gathered, cleaned and used to decorate Christmas trees and dried arrangements.

The blue jacaranda has been cultivated in almost every part of the world where there is no risk of frost; established trees, however, tolerate brief spells of temperatures down to around −7 °C (19 °F). In the US, in areas where winter temperatures can dip to −12 °C (10 °F) for several-hour periods, the mature tree survives with little or no visible damage. Even when young trees are damaged by a hard frost and suffer dieback, they will often rebound from the roots and grow in a shrub-like, multi-stemmed form. However, flowering and growth will be stunted if the jacaranda is grown directly on the California coast, where a lack of heat combined with cool ocean winds discourages flowering.

This plant has won the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

Botanical Name: Jacaranda mimosifolia
Common Name: Blue Jacaranda, Black Poui, Nupur, Fern tree, Jacaranda Tree
Type: Sub-tropical tree. Evergreen or deciduous (depending on the area)
Flower Color: Blue-purple. Fragrant.
Flowering Season: Blooms twice a year. In spring or summer and again in the fall.
Plant Height: 25 - 40 ft ( 7 - 12 m)
Plant Spread: up to 60 ft ( 18 m)
Light Requirements: Full Sun
Water Requirements: Average. Tolerates drought.
Soil Requirements: Moderately sandy, well-drained. Neutral to acidic. Tolerates clay and loamy soils.
USDA Zones: 9b-11

Sowing Instructions (Cliff Notes version): Soak the seeds for 24 hours. Place the seeds on top of a well-draining seed starting mix that is moist and cover thinly with about 1/4 inch (6mm) of soil. Keep the soil moist but not soggy. Temperatures should be around 75-80 °F (23-26 °C). The seeds should sprout in approximately 2-8 weeks (this is an approximate time. It could take longer). Wait 8 months before you transplant the seedlings.