Have a ‘snowy’ Christmas with variation of a favourite tree
ONE of my favourite shade trees is the beautiful flowering jacaranda.
With its delicate, misty lavender flowers and fernlike foliage this deciduous tree has long been grown for the floral display but just think if you could have trees of mauve and white?
Did you know that there is a white flowering variety of jacaranda?
Imagine a tree in full bloom surrounded by a carpet of white?
There is a garden in Garden Street in Blackall in Western Queensland that has both white and mauve flowering varieties in bloom at the moment.
Even at the final stage of the flowering season the colour display of mauve and white is worthy of duplication in other communities.
So picture a community maybe like Mount Morgan where a streetscape of mauve and white blankets the town.
Well that could be a possibility with planting jacaranda mimosifolia alba.
Jacaranda mimosifolia alba is known commercially as jacaranda white christmas.
You could expect this jacaranda to reach a height of 8 to 10 metres, and up to 6 metres across when fully mature, similar to the mauve flower variety.
Jacaranda is also known as the false rosewood.
The timber of this tree can be quite useful in the manufacture of furniture and cabinets. The wood is semi-hard and yellowish in colour.
They prefer a well-drained soil in a sunny position.
If the tree is given too much water before flowering, the foliage will engulf the buds and you lose the startling effect of the flowering.
It is believed that the first white flowering jacaranda to be grown in this country was brought into Australia by a doctor from Bellingen, NSW in 1960.
Dr George Hewitt sourced the rare white jacaranda from a collector in Florida who had obtained plants from Brazil.
Jacarandas have a comfortable spreading habit that seems to invite gardeners to place elkhorns and staghorns on the trunk.
As the roots spread far, being so near the surface and such hungry feeders, it makes it difficult to grow some varieties of shrubs or annuals around the base of the trunk.
The tree has an irregular-shaped growing pattern, unless staked when young, although this habit can be used to advantage to train the tree to grow into unusual positions.
While Central Queensland has some beautiful specimens of jacaranda, it is hard to believe that the tree is naturally found in the high-and-dry deserts of Brazil, as well as Bolivia and Argentina.
DID YOU KNOW?
The Jacaranda has been a significant and successful invader (or pest) in the northern and eastern parts of South Africa, infesting areas of savanna, woodland and forests in sheltered situation.
SUMMER WATER HINT
With the warm days that we usually expect over the Christmas break.
• It is very important that we do not overwater our trees and shrubs, or our pot plants.
• Too much water will wash nutrients from around the root system of the plant.
• Heavy water once a week for about 90 per cent of the plants in your garden.
• A good indication that a plant needs water is a slight droopiness in its overall appearance.
• But if its leaves are crisp and firm, the plant has adequate moisture for the moment, this also applies to pot plants.
This guide is for normal conditions - more watering may be required after sudden, drying winds, or prolonged periods of fierce summer sun.
DID YOU KNOW?
At the moment one of the most beautiful flowering plants around CQ would be the oleander or nerium.
Oleanders have been documented to be growing in gardens for more than 2000 years.
The first mention of the oleander and the poisonous qualities of all parts of the plant were recorded by Pliny in 79 A.D.
Nerium is an ancient Greek word for oleander.