Jacaranda is a tree of the genus Jacaranda: pinnate-leaved tropical American trees of the trumpet-creeper family with bright blue flowers in panciles.
Jacaranda is a genus in the family Bignoniaceae. The generic name is used as the common name for the popular species Jacaranda mimosifolia, also known as blue jacaranda, or simply as the Jacaranda. In India, it is called jungle badam or palisander or green ebony tree. The genus Jacaranda has 49 species. They are native to tropical and subtropical regions of Latin American and Caribbean but they were planted in Asia, the USA (southern California and Florida), southern Europe, Australia and South Africa.
The Jacaranda species grows to height ranging from 20 to 30 metres. Its trunk is thin and grey-brown in colour; when the tree is young the bark is smooth but as it grows it becomes finely scaly. The twigs of the trees are zigzag and slender in light reddish-brown colour.
The plants have bipinnate leaves.
The fruits are in oblong to oval in shape and has flat capsules of and bear numerous seeds, winged seeds.
The genus Jacaranda differs from genera of the Bignoniaceae family in having a staminode longer than stamens, and tricolpate pollen.
The flowers of the plants are most attractive, with their conspicuous large panicles. Panicle is a compound racemose inflorescence: a pyramidal loosely branched flower cluster. Each flower has a five-lobed blue to purple-blue or blue-mauve corolla in large and loose clusters. Some species of the genus Jacaranda have white flowers. Each flower has five unequal lobes: two are curvy in the up and in dirty white in colour, the other three lobes are large and straight.
The flowers are up to 5 cm long, and are grouped in 30 cm panicles. They flower in spring and in early summer for a brief period. It could resemble like a foxglove flower.
The tree is usually found in gardens and on the avenues, and is ‘considered as one of the loveliest garden trees in the world with both the flowers and leaves having their respective charm and beauty’.
Another species of Jacaranda found in India is Jacaranda Filicifolia (fern-leaf). In this ‘the leaflets are larger and the flowers are smaller’ than the common jacaranda.
In India, jacarandas are found in the lower slopes of the forests of the Western Ghats in the tri-junction of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.