Sequel to the Native Trees of Pakistan series, today I am introducing Jacaranda tree.
If I have to describe the beauty of Jacaranda in one phrase, I would introduce it as: ‘breath-taking’. You only have to see this splendid tree in full bloom to truly appreciate its beauty – slender trunk, delicate leaves, and rich lilac blossoms make it an object of beauty. Originally belonging to Brazil, Jacaranda and its fifty species are widely distributed across the South America, Florida, Mexico and the Caribbean islands. Because of its outstanding beauty it has been introduced into many tropical and sub-tropical countries like Pakistan.
Habits of Jacaranda Tree
Jacaranda is a handsome tree of medium height, approximately 5 to 18 meters at the most. The leaves are finely cut into tiny segments giving in the appearance of a fern, that is why, it is also called the Fern Tree. The bark of Jacaranda tree is thin and grey-brown in colour, smooth when the tree is young but develops fine scales as the tree grows. Branches of Jacaranda tree are slender and slightly wavy. They can be pruned easily to make a shady canopy. Young Jacaranda plants should be pruned to form one central trunk for strength and stability.
Tips for Growing Jacaranda Tree
Jacaranda grows in well drained soil and tolerates drought. It can be propagated from grafting, cuttings and seeds – though plants grown from seeds take a long time to bloom. It prefers tropical and sub-tropical climates but survives brief spells of frost and freeze (-7° C/ 20° F). Jacaranda loves sunny locations and ample watering. If the tree does not receive sufficient water, it tends to become chlorotic.
Flowers of Jacaranda
Jacaranda produces clusters of lilac and purple flowers in spring and early summer. The trumpet-shaped flowers have a hint of fragrance and can be up to 5 cm long. Flowering is followed by formation of woody seed pods. Both seed pods and flowers of Jacaranda tend to fall and litter the ground.
Uses of Jacaranda Tree
There are many interesting uses of Jacaranda. The wood has a pleasant scent. It is easy to work and finish for carpentry purposes. Because of the handsome finish and beautiful streaks that polished Jacaranda timber produces, it is used in Egypt for making beautiful pianos. The water extracts of Jacaranda has medicinal value; it is antimicrobial.
Jacaranda can be grown as street tree to provide shady shelters, in landscapes and lawns for its profuse flowers or in large pots as an ornamental plant for container gardening. It can also be turned in to a nicely sculpted bonsai tree.