Jacaranda mimosifolia is a sub-tropical tree native to south-central South America that has been widely planted elsewhere because of its beautiful and long-lasting blue flowers.
Pretoria, the administrative capital of South Africa is popularly and poetically known as Jacaranda City or Jakarandastad in Afrikaans because of the huge number of the trees which turn the city blue when they flower in the spring. The name Jakarandastad is frequently used in Afrikaans songs,
The flowers are up to 5 cm (2.0 in) long, and are grouped in 30 cm (12 in) 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 (2.0 in) 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.
Other synonyms for the Blue Jacaranda are Jacaranda chelonia and J. ovalifolia. The Blue Jacaranda belongs to the section Monolobos of the genus Jacaranda.
There are almost 50 species of Jacaranda
The leaves are the medicinal parts. They are somewhat coriaceous, from 1 to 2 inches long, entire or nearly so, elliptic, lance-oblong, or oblong; either oblique at base, or subacute at both extremities, smooth, and dark-brown on upper surface, lighter beneath, strongly nerved, and velvety-woolly. The surfaces are beset with oil-glands. Odor slight; taste bitter-astringent.
Water extract of Jacaranda mimosifolia shows higher antimicrobial action against Bacillus cereus and Escherichia coli than gentamicin sulfate does. The extract also acts against Staphylococcus aureus.
Is efficient in treating bacterial infections as well as gonorrhea and syphilis. Since about one-third of the world population is allergic to penicillin--the primary drug used in fighting these venereal diseases as well as other infections--it is beneficial to have the option offered by the jacaranda Mimosifolia.
The method of using jacarandas varies; some experts use essential oils derived from the leaves, others from bark, seeds (aka fruits, but they really look like a cross between a tiny turtle shell and a nut) or flowers. Others use, instead, a water extract of any of these same parts, either by use internally or externally.
It is used both locally and internally in syphilitic ulcerations.
Fluid extract of jacaranda is given in doses of from 15 to 30 minims, 4 times a day, carobin, in 1-grain doses. For local use, Rx Jacaranda leaves (powdered)
Used also for Mental enfeeblement, voracious appetite, and epilepsy.
Having antiseptic and antibiotic qualities, Jacaranda gives out some secret natural medical gifts, too. The tree is used to treat hepatitis and in folk tradition the flowers, leaves and bark are used to ease neuralgia and varicose veins. It is scientifically proven that Jacaranda has qualities that treat leukemia. Hot Jacaranda leaf baths treat wounds and skin infections and the tree also helps in the treatment of acne.
The leaves contain carobin (0.16 per cent), a crystallizable, faintly bitterish, inodorous principle, soluble in boiling water and alcohol, insoluble in ether, precipitated from aqueous solution by tartar emetic; with acetic acid it yields a crystallizable compound. Carobic acid (0.05 per cent) crystallizes in needles of aromatic odor and acid taste; is soluble in water and diluted alcohol; steocarobic acid (0.10 per cent), pale-brown, of a tonka-like odor, soluble in cold absolute alcohol and ether; carobone (2.66 per cent), a balsamic, resinous acid, greenish, soluble in alcohol (sp. gr., 0.815) and caustic alkalies; caroba resin (3.33 per cent), inodorous and tasteless; caroba balsam (1.44 per cent), dark brown, syrupy, of tonka-like odor; caroba tannin (0.44 per cent), and a bitter principle (2.88 per cent); albumen, starch, etc. The bark contains carobin (0.3 per cent), caroba resin (0.5 per cent), the bitter principle (0.28 per cent), and in addition carobaretic acid (0.2 per cent), devoid of odor. According to Hesse (1880), no alkaloid is present.
Trees tolerate a wide variety of soils, but are shallow rooted therefore young plants should be staked and watered until roots are established. Occasional pruning and deep watering is recommended, once the hardy plants are established. The plant, although considered subtropical, is surprisingly hardy to at least light frosts.
Yellow jacaranda, Rosewood, Tipu tree, Pride of Bolivia - hardy, evergreen fast growing tree with bright yellow-orange flowers. Best choice for those who need a large tree in no time. Tolerates some freeze, one of the hardiest of all tropical trees.