Saturday, June 5, 2010

Mimosas, Anyone?

I could be referring to the delicious cocktail composed of champagne and orange juice.

But actually, I'm referring to the lovely mimosa tree, also known as the silk tree. They are blooming everywhere in my area right now.

These blossoms are so fascinating to me. There was one of these trees in my front yard when I was a child.  I used to call it the powder-puff tree, because of the blossoms. I picked them and pretended I was using them to put powder on my face.

There are several mimosa trees located just outside my office. The other afternoon I took a break and walked around the pond where they are planted. The timing was perfect, as they were at their peak of bloom.

Apparently these trees are considered invasive because they reproduce and regrow faster than many native species.  The mimosa tree originally came from China, where it was used for ornamental purposes.

The mimosa usually grows to between 20 and 40 feet at maturity.  The leaves are especially interesting; they are from 5-8 inches long and 3-4 inches wide. Each branch has from 20 to 60 leaflets.

The fragrant flowers resemble pom-poms,  ranging in color from white to pink, and are at the end of the branches.

Mimosa seeds form inside flat, straw-colored oval-shaped pods from August to September, but they stay on the trees until winter.  I'll go back later in the season to take a look at the seed pods.

The mimosa seeds can lay dormant for as long as fifty years. The tree can grow as much as three feet in one season. Because of this, it's a strong competitor for other shrubs and can quickly dominate its habitat, especially in open areas and forest edges.


  1. Those are pretty invasive in my area. I think they're really pretty, but I wouldn't plant one in my yard. My husband said that he used to have one in his last yard, and that there would always be a ton of hummingbirds buzzing around under it. There are a few small Mimosas across the street from us, in a wooded area. So I can enjoy them from afar :D

  2. Love you pictures. I was shooting a video of our Mimosa Tree last night for my Squidoo lens at and had a surprise visitor. It was great fun!
    BTW, this blog post showed up on my lens via Google Blog Search. I sure am glad it did.

  3. Thanks to both of you for your comments. By the way, I just watched the video of the swallowtail--he was very excited, wasn't he? Loved it!