Encyclopedia of Stanford Trees, Shrubs, and Vines
The round, flat, seed cases, more than 2 inches across when ripe, with a bump in the middle for the seed, are in good supply at Rains Houses. They can be extremely difficult to open by hand. You should try. I am not talking about unripe, aborted, or spent pods -- only hard ripe pods that have not yet opened of their own accord. While the fruit is not as heavily into protective armor as its compatriot the Brazil nut, the ancestors of the jacaranda clearly had something serious in mind as they evolved. If you feel you will be successful in opening a closed capsule, first examine the outside bumps and form an idea of what you will see.
The Portuguese pronunciation for jacaranda is zha-ka-ra-DAH.
Illustration: McMinn, Howard E. and Evelyn Maino. 1951. An illustrated manual of Pacific coast trees; with lists of trees recommended for various uses on the Pacific coast by H. W. Shepherd. 2d ed. Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press.
Illustrations (links open new windows): galleryAdditions/Revisions: Revisions: Trees sold in the nursery trade as J. mimosifolia can be the similar J. acutifolia--native to dry valleys of central and northern Chile-- or hybrids (according to the authors of Trees of Santa Barbara (2005).
Name derivation, genus | species Jacaranda is from the Portuguese name for the genus | flowers like a mimosa (Albizia julibrissin)Related material: Canopy Trees for Palo Alto Tree Library | Stanford Grounds Plant Information Sheet, List No. 7, Page 13.