If you love the pink blooms of the cherry trees in Washington, D.C., you’ll love the bold blossoms of the jacaranda tree. The purple blooms of the jacaranda tree rival those of the cherry blossoms!

By Jenny Krane
June 12, 2019

If you’ve never seen the spectacular purple blooms of a Jacaranda tree, now’s your chance to see them in full bloom. Every branch of these trees is covered in hundreds of purple blossoms. As the blooms are spent and fall, they create a blanket of purple around the trunks. Jacaranda trees (Jacaranda mimosifolia) are native to tropical areas and give a vibrant show of purple flowers in late spring. They thrive in the southern areas of California, Florida, and Texas.

California, especially Long Beach and Los Angeles, are seeing a burst of trumpet-shaped blooms—these trees usually start blooming in late May and the trees are almost fully-covered in flowers by the first half of June. Jacarandas are fast-growing shade trees that can get up to 60 feet tall, so they are present in many California neighborhoods. They are hardy in Zones 9-11.

Besides their beautiful blooms, jacarandas are also grown for their delicate, fern-like foliage that brings softness to the garden. These trees are also popular for their wide-spreading branches that fill in big areas of the landscape. When the foliage turns gold in the fall, the Jacaranda’s statement-making silhouette is even more magnificent.

These trees prefer to grow in sandy soil and in full sun. What nurseries usually don’t tell you about jacarandas is that they drop their flowers after blooming, leaving a circle of fallen flowers on the ground around the trunk of the tree. While it looks pretty at first, the flowers eventually start to decompose and the liquid inside the pods emits a sticky substance which can cause a slippery walking surface. Raking the lawn after the tree is done dropping blooms will help you to avoid a slippery lawn.

Because they’re so fast-growing, we don’t recommend growing these trees in containers outdoors. Some people grow jacarandas as bonsai for their unique leaves—if you grow it outdoors, you may get a small show of flowers. You can grow them indoors where you can control the size more easily, but they likely won’t flower.

Jacaranda trees add whimsy and color to the landscape and are a reliable addition to your yard. Head to California, Florida, or Southern Texas to see a bright show of blooms or plant your own tree. Like the cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C., the jacaranda bloom is a sight worth seeing.

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