A nearly native plant habitat garden located in northeast Georgia in eco-region 231 (Southeast Mixed Forest Province) zone 7b on 10 acres of meadow and forest habitat. I’m Karin, gardener, photographer and writer. I hope you enjoy a little taste of Georgia and will come back and visit often. xo!
Well, a glass of champagne with a splash of orange juice does sound very inviting for Sunday brunch but since this is a gardening blog I will stick to the Mimosa Tree (Albizia julibrissin).
Mimosa trees are in full bloom in the southeast filling the air with its fragrance and beautifying the roadsides.
This exotic looking tree, sometimes referred to as a silk tree, usually has a single trunk habit but can have multiple trunks that grow quickly and upwards of 20 to 40 ft. tall.
It has wispy, fern-like leaves with pink pom pom flowers
which bloom May through July.
The bipinnate compound leaves fold in and hang down at night giving the illusion that the tree is sleeping.
The fluffy blooms are a magnet for bees and butterflies. And who can resist the intoxicating smell?
It was introduced to the United States in the 18th century as an ornamental tree by French botanist André Michaux in his garden in Charleston, South Carolina. Once a symbol in southern gardens like Crepe Myrtles and Magnolia trees, the Mimosa has fallen out of favor in recent years and is now considered a weed by many.
Mimosa trees are considered invasive. They reproduce easily. One tree can produce over 200,000 seeds a year! This is a threat to native plants in our area. If trees are located near wet areas seed pods will float downstream allowing them to spread quickly. Birds and other wildlife also help to spread the seeds. The roots can spread as much as 100 feet in ideal conditions and are known for sending up shooters.
Many people have magical childhood memories of climbing these trees (its low branching, forking limbs make for a great climbing tree!) while others think of it as a "weed" tree and take desperate measures to eradicate their gardens of this tree. I have mixed feelings...I enjoy the beauty of this tree growing on the side of the road; however, I would never plant one in my garden. And whereas they are beneficial to pollinators, I am an advocate of creating an environment where native plants can flourish. There is concern about how invasive these trees are and the crowding out of native species.