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The tree grows to a height of 5 to 15 metres (16 to 49 feet). 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. The flowers are up to 5 cm long, and are grouped in 30 cm panicles. They appear in spring and early summer, and last for up to two months. They are followed by woody seed pods, about 5 cm in diameter, which contain numerous flat, winged seeds. The Blue Jacaranda is cultivated even in areas where it rarely blooms, for the sake of its large compound leaves. These are up to 45 cm long and bi-pinnately compound, with leaflets little more than 1 cm long.
The Blue Jacaranda has been cultivated in almost every part of the world where there is no risk of frost; established trees can however tolerate brief spells of temperatures down to around −7°C (20°F). In the United States, it grows in parts of Oregon, California, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, and Florida., and has been reported to grow in Lafayette, southern Louisiana, the Mediterranean coast of Spain, in southern Portugal (very noticeably in Lisbon), southern Italy (in Naples and Cagliari it's quite easy to come across beautiful specimens).
People in Australia sing a Christmas song about Jacaranda trees, as the blooms are only seen in summer time—as the song explains, "When the bloom of the jacaranda tree is here, Christmas time is near" ... People decorate Christmas trees with the woody seed pods.
Spotted on Apr 5, 2011
Submitted on Sep 15, 2011