pierre laszlo

Jacaranda mimosifolia (Bignoniaceae).
Jacaranda, Jacaranda mimosifolia (Bignoniaceae).
Naming - This tree, with the syllables in its name, from the Guarani language of Brazilian Indians, rippling off the tongue is a wonder from the New World. When in bloom, twice a year, its purple-blue flowers make for a dazzling display. Hence, it is known also as “the  blue jacaranda”. The fruit consists of flattened ligneous capsules, about three inches in length, resembling oysters. Hence, the tree is known also as “the oyster tree” (arbre à huitres, in French). The wood resembles so-called Brazilian rosewood, from the Dalbergia genus. Thus the tree is also known as Bahia or Rio rosewood. I cherish the memory of my bookshelves of jacaranda wood when I lived in Rio de Janeiro. As for the name of the species, mimosifolia, literally “of the mimosa-like leaves”, it stems from the large compound
leaves, up to 45 cm long and bi-pinnately compound, with leaflets little more than 1 cm long. Known yet by another name, the fern tree, and, once it had been acclimated in Hawaï, also as “the black poui»”.
Cultivation - in almost every part of the world without frost.
Height - It is a tall tree, usually 15-50 ft.
Smell of the flowers - sweet and potent, it attracts tropical Euglossa bees. Other uses - with the world almost overrun by the automobile, the bark of this tree is suitable as a biomonitor of atmospheric deposition of heavy metals such as chromium, vanadium, lead, cadmium from car emissions.