TREES AND SHRUBS OF EAST AFRICA (NEW EDITION)

Jacaranda mimosofolia

Jacaranda, Brazilian Rosewood

Local names:  Mucakaranda (Kikuyu); Omosaria (Kisii)

A deciduous tree, spectacular in full-flower bloom, reaching up to 20m in height. Grows in moist soil except water logged ones. Occurs widely throughout East Africa at altitudes of up to 2,200m above sea level. It fares best in highlands but can also grow in some of the drier areas. Native to Brazil.

Leaves: Fern-like and feather; bipinnate;  crowded in terminal whorls; numerous leaflets; very small; with pointed apex; leaflets bright green when young, becoming darker with age.

Flowers: Striking mauve-blue clusters, rarely white; bell-shaped; tree mostly in flower when not in leaf.

Fruit: Flattened; rounded (circular), woody capsules with wavy edges; up to 70mm in diameter; green when young, brown to black when mature; split on the tree to release numerous seeds with transparent wings.

Uses: This species is used for fuel, as a general timber, to make carvings, as fencing, and it is frequently planted as an ornamental. A beautiful white specimen of white jacaranda can be seen in City Park Nairobi from September to October.

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