Native to Brazil, Bolivia, and Argentina, this is surely one of the world's prettiest flowering trees. Quickly grows to 4560 feet tall and 2540 feet wide, with rounded, spreading form. Large, bright green, much-divided leaves up to 20 inches long are soft and fernlike, resembling those of mimosa (Albizia julibrissin), hence the species name mimosifolia. Leaves drop in late winter. New leaves may emerge quickly or branches may remain bare until tree comes into bloom, usually in mid- to late spring. Tubular, 2 inches-long, blue or lavender-blue blossoms with white throats appear in many 8 inches-long clusters. Flat, mahogany-colored seedpods look great in arrange- ments but are messy on the ground. 'Alba', a white-flowered selection, is sometimes offered; it has lusher foliage and sparser blooms. 'Bonsai Blue' grows 6 feet tall with deep purple blooms.
Jacaranda is fairly hardy after it matures a bit; young plants are injured below 25F but often come back from a hard freeze to make multistemmed, bushy plants. Prefers sandy, well-drained, moderately fertile soil. Not salt tolerantoften fails to flower in the path of ocean winds. Makes a nice lawn, shade, or street tree. Stake young plants and prune out wayward branches to produce a single, sturdy trunk. Once established, needs little pruning.