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Hort in the Home Landscape

A blog devoted to sharing timely horticulture topics and answering the questions of gardeners and homeowners.
2015-05-17 19 06 32

Plant of the Week: Jacaranda Tree

This past weekend I was overcome with zone envy while visiting Los Angeles on vacation. Neighborhoods were abloom with trees full of stunning bluish purple flowers. After some google research, I identified the trees as Jacaranda (Jacaranda mimosifolia).

While beautiful on the west coast, California Extension states that mature trees will only survive a freeze as low as 25°F. Not exactly ideal for Illinois, hence the zone envy.

According to Florida Extension,  soft, delicate, fernlike, deciduous foliage and dense terminal clusters of lavender-blue, lightly fragrant, trumpet-shaped flowers make this large, spreading tree an outstanding specimen planting. The striking blooms can appear any time from April through August (most often May), and are sometimes present before the fresh, new, light green leaves appear in spring

It seems not all residents of California love the Jacaranda as much as I, as seen in this LA Times news article. It sounds like Jacarandas are quite the messy tree as the flowers have a sticky liquid that accompanies them. Not a great idea as a street tree in that case.

Photo by LA Times

Photo by LA Times

If you're thinking about heading south during the spring, this tree's beautiful bloom is definitely worth seeing!

Learn more about the Jacaranda here.

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