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Jacaranda mimosifolia (Jacaranda)

Scientific name

Jacaranda mimosifolia D. Don


Jacaranda chelonia Grisb.; J. ovalifolia R. Br.

Common names

Jacaranda, mucakaranda (Kikuyu), omosaria (Kisii), fern tree




Native to South America (southern Bolivia and north-western Argentina).

Naturalised distribution (global)

Locations within which Jacaranda mimosifolia is naturalised include the warmer parts of eastern Australia, southern Africa, Hawaii, south-eastern USA and outside its native range in southern South America.

Introduced, naturalised or invasive in East Africa
Jacaranda mimosifolia is naturalised in parts of Kenya and Uganda (A.B.R. Witt pers. obs.) and Tanzania (Henderson 2002).


Jacaranda mimosifolia can grow in bushland, grassland, wooded ravines and riverbanks. The spreading growth habit and the dense foliage shade out native plants and prevent their regeneration.


Deciduous or evergreen tree, 5-15 m tall. Its main distinguishing feature is its spectacular lavender blue blooms which has led to its popularity as an ornamental tree. Jacaranda mimosifolia is fast growing and resprouts easily if damaged.

Its bark is thin and grey-brown in colour, smooth when the tree is young though it eventually becomes finely scaly. The twigs are slender and slightly zigzag; they are a light reddish-brown in colour. Twice-pinnately compound leaves, up to 45 cm long.

Its flowers are beautiful, lavender blue, tubular, 2.5 cm long, appear in dense 15 – 25 cm terminal clusters with often the entire tree in flower and later the ground turning blue as the flowers fall off. Round, flat, reddish brown, woody capsule, 4 – 5 cm in diameter containing numerous small winged seeds.

Economic and other uses

Its main value is as an ornamental tree widely grown in urban areas worldwide. It also has medicinal properties. However, these uses cannot compensate for this plant’s overall negative impacts.

Environmental and other impacts

Jacaranda mimosifolia is regarded as an invasive species in parts of South Africa and Queensland, Australia, where it can out-compete native species. It can form thickets of seedlings beneath planted trees from which the species may expand and exclude other vegetation.

J. mimosifolia has been listed as a Category 3 invader in South Africa (no further planting is allowed – except with special permission – nor is trade in propagative material. Existing plants must be prevented from spreading).

error: Not allowed !!

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