Botanical name: Jacaranda mimosifolia
Common name: Jacaranda
Jacaranda mimosifolia is a sub-tropical fern-like deciduous tree on the Bignoneaceae family, native to south-central South America (Argentina, Bolivia and, probably, Brazil) that has been widely planted elsewhere because of its beautiful and long-lasting purple/blue flowers. It is commonly known as jacaranda or blue jacaranda.
Many of these trees have been planted in Madeira, specially in the center of the city of Funchal and villages at sea level, where they can get the temperatures they need to bloom.
Jacaranda put on a spectacular flowering display in spring wherein blue-purple trumpet shaped flowers, lightly fragrant, cover the tree with bloom, forming pools of blue on the ground as they fall. The flowers are present before the fresh, new green leaves appear.
Pretoria in South Africa is popularly known as The Jacaranda City due to the enormous number of jacaranda trees planted as street trees and in parks and gardens. In flowering time the city appears blue/purple in colour when seen from the nearby hills because of all the jacaranda trees.
It is regarded as an invasive species in parts of South Africa and Australia.
Elda Sousa (Official Tourist Guide)
Bibliography: Different sites on the internet
Photo Courtesy of Marla Castro