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Mimosa Trees: Beautiful, Exotic, Aromatic -- and Threatening?

Updated on December 9, 2016
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C. E. Clark has an unquenchable curiosity for things unique, and loves to bring those things she discovers to the attention of her readers.

Mimosa Trees Are Originally from Asia

The mimosa tree, sometimes called the Persian silk tree, is a legume and can help enrich the soil where it grows. The Persian name means “night sleeper,” and in Japan it is known as the sleeping tree. That is because the bipinnate leaves fold up at night and during rainstorms.

Bipinnate simply means that instead of one undivided leaf, the leaves are separated like those of a fern or a palm frond. The flowers are anywhere from pale to deep pink and form in clusters that look like fine silk threads. They form long pods 5-7 inches long that enclose the seeds.

The technical name, Albizia julibrissin, is native to eastern and southwestern Asia, but does well in most climates here in the states. It is a fast growing ornamental tree that can reach up to 30 feet or slightly more in height.

Mimosa Tree blossom close up
Mimosa Tree blossom close up

Clouds of Profuse Soft Pink Blossoms

Hummingbirds, butterflies, deer, birds and bees, all love mimosa trees. They smell wonderful, and they are my favorite trees in Texas, the first place I am aware of having seen them. I always look forward to their blossoms that usually appear in late spring and last for several weeks.


Some of the places where I have lived in Texas have had mimosa trees right near my front door. One evening about dusk, I was going out to run an errand, and I just happened to look up for some reason. There seemed to be a fairytale like cloud of pink cotton candy above me due to the folding of the mimosa tree’s leaves, making them invisible in the low light. The limited light made the feathery blossoms appear like soft fluff suspended in the air, and the smell was intoxicating.


That vision of the blossoms on the mimosa tree that I saw for the first time in my life that evening has remained with me. That was when I first learned that the leaves of the mimosa fold for the night. I often wish I could have gotten a photo, but it probably would not have turned out well in such low light anyway.

Some Advantages and Disadvantages Of the Mimosa Tree

The mimosa tree is cold weather tolerant and has been known to survive temperatures as cold as -25 degrees Fahrenheit. Nature Hills Nursery in Omaha Nebraska claims the mimosa tree “acts as a natural de-wormer for woodland creatures.”

From my own experience, in addition to being pretty and smelling wonderful, the mimosa trees that have been in my yard provided lots of great shade from the sun.

Unfortunately, the mimosa tree is considered by many horticulturalists, and others, to be an ecological threat. Mimosa trees can grow in a variety of soils, produce large seed crops that travel and spread easily by wind and water, and re-sprout when damaged.

The mimosa, I am told, is a strong competitor to native trees and shrubs in open areas or forest edges. Dense stands of mimosa severely reduce the sunlight and nutrients available for other plants. I must confess, that as prevalent as mimosa trees are here in North Texas, I have never seen a "dense stand" of them anywhere, nor have they ever gotten out of control that I know of. I have never heard anyone complain about them.

WARNING!!

The seedpods are poisonous at all times and the seeds within even more so. Do not allow livestock, pets, or especially children to put the seedpods or seeds in their mouths. They can cause seizures and even death.

Be sure to keep the seed pods away from animals and children. Rake them up as soon as they begin to fall and teach your little ones and all of your children never to put the seedpods in their mouths. Do not assume an older child, or even an adult who may be unfamiliar with mimosa trees knows not to do so.

The flowers and leaves are not toxic and some people cook them and eat them like vegetables or make tea from them, but avoid the seedpods and seeds (John Minton, Gardens of Tomorrow).

Mimosa Trees

Many mimosa trees get much bigger than this one.
Many mimosa trees get much bigger than this one.
Mimosa trees and leaves close up
Mimosa trees and leaves close up
Mimosa trees in the medium size range
Mimosa trees in the medium size range
Mimosa trees in a medium size
Mimosa trees in a medium size
Mimosa tree seedpods are extremely toxic and poisonous to all animals and children.  Do not allow your children or pets to put the seedpods or the seeds into their mouths.
Mimosa tree seedpods are extremely toxic and poisonous to all animals and children. Do not allow your children or pets to put the seedpods or the seeds into their mouths.
Mimosa tree blossoms
Mimosa tree blossoms
Feathery mimosa tree blossom
Feathery mimosa tree blossom
The flowering mimosa tree in the background has grown up most likely from a seed blown to that location by the wind or carried there by water.
The flowering mimosa tree in the background has grown up most likely from a seed blown to that location by the wind or carried there by water.

Mimosa Strigillosa, Not a Tree, but a Ground Cover

It has come to my attention that there is a good deal of confusion regarding mimosa. Some information states that the seedpods are often used as livestock feed while other information says the seedpods and seeds are the most noxious part of the plant, and can at the extreme cause death.

For that reason I am including information about mimosa strigillosa, also called powderpuff mimosa (because of its soft flowers), and also called sunshine mimosa (it prefers full sun but can do quite well in shade).

Mimosa strigillosa or mimosa powderpuff is a ground cover and is indeed used as food for livestock such as cattle and chickens or turkeys, and is equally utilized by wild fowl, deer, caterpillars, and honeybees. No part of this strain of mimosa was listed as toxic, and its parts are regularly utilized as food by both domestic livestock and wild animals.

I am including photographs of this type of mimosa so that my readers may learn to recognize it. It does not grow into trees or bushes and remains fairly close to the ground, usually 3 to 4 inches high, but rarely as much as 12 inches high. The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) says it is not considered an ecological threat or in any way invasive, yet the University of Florida Lee County Extension office says it “is difficult to control in restricted areas and is best grown with definite boundaries, such as pavement or sidewalks, where it can be more easily edged.”

Mimosa Strigillosa is a very hardy plant, and can withstand many severe conditions. Like the mimosa trees, this ground cover readily adapts to most soil types and can withstand drought very well. While it does grow well from the seeds it produces, the stems also spread and form an overlapping vegetative mat making it an excellent way of controlling erosion.

Please see my list of references below, and by all means check them out for more information on this plant and any questions you may have about it. Whenever you have questions about plants, gardening, lawn care, animals either domestic or wild, pesticides or other chemicals, food, food additives or preservatives, recipes, or a huge variety of different issues and subjects relating to plants or animals, consult your local county agricultural extension office, a free service provided by tax dollars. Every state and most counties have one.

U.S. Dept. of Agriculture

https://plants.usda.gov/plantguide/pdf/pg_mist2.pdf

University of Florida Lee County Extension

http://lee.ifas.ufl.edu/Hort/GardenPubsAZ/Mimosa.pdf

FloridaNativeNurseries.org

http://www.floridanativenurseries.org/info/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/SunshineMimosa-May2013.pdf

Mimosa strigillosa or mimosa powderpuff

A close up of the pretty soft flower near the foliage which is very similar to the leaves of the mimosa tree and equally sensitive.  They fold up within seconds of being disturbed.
A close up of the pretty soft flower near the foliage which is very similar to the leaves of the mimosa tree and equally sensitive. They fold up within seconds of being disturbed. | Source
This is how the ground cover mimosa strigillosa or mimosa powderpuff looks when in blossom.
This is how the ground cover mimosa strigillosa or mimosa powderpuff looks when in blossom. | Source
This is how mimosa powderpuff (mimosa strigillosa) looks when not in blossom during the spring/summer months and in some places through the winter also.
This is how mimosa powderpuff (mimosa strigillosa) looks when not in blossom during the spring/summer months and in some places through the winter also. | Source

© 2012 C E Clark

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    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 9 days ago from North Texas

      California Girl, just glad if I can help. Good luck with the mimosa project!

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      California girl 3 weeks ago

      Thank you for the reply. Definitely helped with where I can put it. I live out in the country no sidewalks but the side yard has no trees whatsoever. It does concern me about the seed pods being poisonous I do have chickens but they are cooped up as long as I can keep the pods away from their living space I think I could definitely make it work. I have a friend that has a lot of these and has offered to give me starters. I say it's a go! Thanks again I will continue to check this site for additional comments

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 3 weeks ago from North Texas

      California Girl, thank you for perusing this article and the comments too. I like to read the comments on an article too, because they often include additional info that wasn't in the article.

      Mimosa trees tend to have shallow roots, but they are very strong and powerful. The trees can withstand a lot of difficult conditions overall. I do not recommend you plant mimosa trees very near sidewalks, foundations, driveways, etc., because they will lift them up and crack them. They also tend to be messy trees, so don't put them by the pool. They will crack any concrete you have surrounding it and drop blossoms and leaves etc. into the water continually.

      Perhaps along the property line would be good so that you can readily view them hopefully without their encountering sidewalks or driveways or foundations.

      Six feet may be a little too close. I recall one house I lived in a few years ago that had a huge gorgeous mimosa in the front yard. It was a very small front yard and the tree pretty well covered it. The sidewalk going to the front door was cracked and broken in a couple of places and the tree stood at least 10 feet from it. Much as they make a beautiful centerpiece for the front lawn, I believe if I were planting them I would put them along the backyard fence line so hopefully they would be well away from both mine and the neighbors concrete work.

      Unless you have a huge front lawn. I have seen homes with front yards half the size of a football field, no kidding, and one could put theses trees all over an area that big that has no concrete work to close with no concern.

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      California girl 3 weeks ago

      I read most of these comments and skimmed them all without seeing anything about their root system. Do they run deep or along the surface. My leech line is about 3 feet down, but would plant them about 6 ft over from it. Do you think they would be ok or is that too close?

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 5 weeks ago from North Texas

      Diane, thank you for your lovely comment. I'm so glad you love these trees as much as I do and that you enjoyed this article!

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      Diane 6 weeks ago

      I love these trees. I first noticed them as a child at the age of 8. Since then I always wanted one of my own. When my Mother passed away my husband got one for me. I have it in our yard and it is beautiful! Just 2 days ago we lost our beloved cat of over 17 yrs. We decided under this tree would be perfect spot for her. I will be reminded of her and seeing the beautiful tree filled with butterflies and humming birds seemed fitting. My cats name was Pinky, because she was attracted to the color pink! And this tree having pink fluffy blossoms seemed soft and sweet like her. Thank you for posting all the information about this lovely tree.

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 2 months ago from North Texas

      Grannyma 1, thank you for sharing your thoughts and your appreciation for these beautiful trees! I'm so glad you're enjoying your tree and chimes together. :)

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      Grannyma 1 2 months ago

      Love mimosa trees, they are beautiful, in my area I haven't noticed any spreading like weeds, central North Carolina. I also love wind chimes and have combined the two. Now I have a beautiful tree that provides whimsical chimes when the wind blows!

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 3 months ago from North Texas

      Kim, from Taylor, MI, thank you for taking time to comment. I'm so glad you were able to find this article. I hope you will take time to read the comments too, because they can be very helpful sometimes.

      One commenter talks about how invasive this tree is in her area in the state of Pennsylvania. I know that's still a little south of Michigan (I'm originally from WI, and I know how cold it can get up in that part of the country), but I think if you plant your mimosa in a somewhat sheltered area, maybe where some stands of other trees can surround it on 2 or 3 sides, it may do OK. Once it gets well rooted, I think from what people are reporting in the comments here, even the cold may have a challenge trying kill it.

      I'm so glad you got to see this beautiful tree. I really hope you are able to get it to do well up there. :)

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 3 months ago from North Texas

      Season, thank you for sharing your experience with mimosa trees with me and my readers. You have added some very helpful information and I really appreciate your taking the time to do so!

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      C E Clark 3 months ago from North Texas

      Larry in Gowdy Indiana, thank you for sharing your experience with mimosa trees and for your inquiry. I wish I could tell you if the roots of your trees will damage the foundations or floors in your buildings, but I honestly do not know. I would recommend that you contact your Rush County Extension Office that is there to answer all manner of questions about trees and other plants at no charge to you (765- 932-5974).

      Regarding transplanting mimosa trees, if your trees aren't very large you might prefer to start new ones. It would be easier. Just harvest some of the seedpods from your big 50-year old tree and place them barely under the soil in the location(s) where you would like them to grow.

      As another commenter mentioned, mimosa trees do grow a lot like weeds and it's very difficult to get rid of them once they have a good start. Check out Apache Rose's comment below, and also Season's. Even when damaged these trees will often bounce back, so -to-speak, and pretty quickly.

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      Kim from Taylor, Mi 3 months ago

      I saw my first Mimosa tree yesterday, actually it was in bloom. Such beauty to behold! I was visiting my son in Centerville Ohio, and i just happened to glance in his neighbors yard, and i saw this beautiful pink airy flower. I thought it must be a mistake, what tree blooms at the end of August?! I talked to the neighbor, an took some pictures. When i got back to Michigan today, i looked up this tree and came to your site. Thank you for the wonderful information! I shall check with our extension service to see if it is ok for planting here in Michigan.

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 3 months ago from North Texas

      Joe Fain, thank you for sharing your thoughts. I'm so glad you share my love of mimosa trees!

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      Season 3 months ago

      I live in northern middle tennessee. I have a couple of mimosa trees in my yard! I love the smell of the blooms & how pretty they are in bloom but the seeds do sprout up everywhere & if a seedling is left to grow too long, you are stuck with it! They're impossible to kill! I have a few that were left to grow in the flower beds around the house when my sister in law lived in this house & I have cut them down, dug up as much root as possible & sawed huge hunks of the roots out & still cannot kill it! New sprouts shoot up from every piece of root multiple times a year & I just keep ripping them off! It doesn't take long for these trees to take root either & like I said once they do you're stuck with it...they're not very easy to pull up once they get several inches tall & cutting them to the ground does no good...they will sprout right back up! They will grow anywhere too! You're best bet is to do as you said and take the seed pods up as soon as you see them start to fall & dispose of them somewhere you don't mind them growing! I do love the big ones I have though! They're my little piece of paradise! When they bloom, the whole yard smells good & they look like a fairyland with dozens of hummingbirds & butterflies all over them!

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      Larry in Gowdy, Indiana 3 months ago

      I live in southeast central Indiana and have had Mimosa tree (we call them Formosa) in my yard for the past 50 years. It keeps getting bigger and bigger but blooms every year. Problem is that it close to the country road and also has power lights from the road to my house growing thru it so I have to trim it from time to time although I don't want to.

      In the past couple years, seeds have fallen her my house and also my wash house. So now I have 3 trees going along side the buildings and one near my water well. Will the roots cause problems to my foundations? And to the well?

      I don't want to cut them down since they now are huge and blooming beautifully but I don't want damage either.

      Also I have some small ones starting up in other area outside of my lawn mowing area. If I try to replant them elsewhere, how far down in the ground do I dig to get all the roots? And will I be successful in replanting them?

      Thanks for your help.

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 3 months ago from North Texas

      Shyron, thank you for stopping by. I think trees are important and it upsets me when I discover they have been removed or over-trimmed for no good reason.

      Just as I told you how a very useful shade tree had been removed about 8 weeks ago now, from the corner of the OfficeMax store, now just this past Sunday I discovered the trees around one of our Panera restaurants have been trimmed practically to death!

      I noticed it when I was going to park under one of the trees that provided enough shade for 4 vehicles. The tree was there, but the shade wasn't! It had been trimmed to where there were a few limbs reaching up to the sky with little tufts of leaves at the end of each one. I was shocked and I still am. Now there is no shade at all. The hottest part of our summer and someone all but killed that poor tree and did the same to the others in that area of the shopping center.

      Blessings dear friend . . .

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      Apache Rose 3 months ago

      To one of the comments below, if you cannot understand why a non-native tree is considered unwanted and potentially invasive, it is concerning. You value pretty over decimating ecosystems. Why?

      While I respect those that value the mimosa so long as it is grown with care and not allowed to grow wild, it grows like a weed here in PA. My next store neighbor had a fully grown one until he removed it about a decade ago. Long story short, I am still dealing with offspring of that tree. They love to anchor next to a structure or other plants. They have an ability to grow in odd places like from under my shed and basement window wells and recover from being cut back. Not only recover but quickly. As short as a week or two. If you have trees that provide cover, seedlings will take hold before you know it. One is partnered with a lilac here. Others near wild cherry and mulberry under large pine. Granted, I have not tried chemicals but I would rather not because I never use them anyway and it is right next to a water well. Unless I put the shed on rollers so I get at the plants growing under it, I will always have mimosas I do not want.

      So please better than my neighbor and mindful of your trees. They may be neat but will be a headache for yourself or others if planted in prime conditions. They do grow like weeds in those conditions even if you haven't seen it.

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 4 months ago from North Texas

      John Weidman, thank you for commenting and sharing your experience with these trees. I agree that they do tend to grow like weeds, but I still think they are easy to control. If one mows their yard regularly, just mow those little trees at the same time and their kept from growing where they aren't wanted. I also find it hard to believe they only last 20 years, but this is what some of the experts say. I think there are often exceptions to many rules . . . :)

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      Joe fain 4 months ago

      We have one of these beautiful trees in our yard, and what you read is not true, its 10 years old theres not another tree in sight i've never seen these trees out of control anywhere, now pine and locust, trees is what i consider unwanted and evasive... i dont know why people lie about and hate things that are pretty and like things that are nasty and ugly...

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      John weidman 4 months ago

      I have 2 in my yard and one of them is a monster and still blooms each year! I would say, by the size of it, that it has to be well beyond 20 years old! I have so many pop up volunteer each year, that I have to eradicate them like weeds, or mulberry trees. They are absolutely beautiful trees!

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 4 months ago from North Texas

      JoAnne, thank you for taking the time to tell me and my readers about your beautiful mimosa tree and it's history. I have read that the normal life expectancy of mimosa trees is about 20 years, so if yours has lasted twice that long you are lucky indeed.

      If it does manage to blossom again you may want to be sure to gather some of its seedpods so that you can start a new tree (or several new trees) that would be offspring of your tree, and so continue the wonderful history of your tree.

      I'm sorry I can't' give you better news or advice than that, but after much research that is what I learned. After 20 years most mimosa trees rarely blossom, etc., and don't live much longer. I'm glad yours has done so much better than that, but I really would save some of the seedpods if you get some this year. Know that I wish you the very best results with your tree.

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      JoAnne 4 months ago

      I have a beautiful Mimosa that is very special to me as my late dad dug it up from his yard and gave it to me 40 or more years ago when my husband and I bought our home. The funny thing is he didn't realize he was giving me the Mimosa as it was dug up with a lilac bush that was the intended gift. Anyway, the lilac is still thriving and Mimosa is at least thirty feet tall and up until this year has bloomed beautifully. But this year, although it has leaves, it has not produced any flowers. I am concerned. I would appreciate any thoughts you might have. Thank you.

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 5 months ago from North Texas

      Heather, I'm so glad you love the mimosa trees like I do! Thank you for taking time to let me and my readers know.

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      C E Clark 5 months ago from North Texas

      Nichole, thank you for commenting. I'm so glad you enjoyed this article and even happier that you appreciate the mimosa trees in South Carolina.

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 5 months ago from North Texas

      TimPearce3, thank you for commenting, though I must say I think you are exaggerating just a bit. I have seen kudzu and mimosas aren't anything like it.

      When small trees erupted in my yard I merely ran them over with my lawn mower along with the grass and they were gone again until next time. Continuing to run over them with the lawn mower will keep them under control, but one could if they wished, pull them up by hand before going over them with mower if one wished.

      Here where I am in N. Texas mimosas have never been a problem that I know of. I realize that doesn't mean they aren't or haven't been a problem elsewhere, but I do think they are preferable to kudzu.

      I love mimosas and I can't imagine why anyone would want to obliterate them. Mimosas don't even have briars or thorns like mesquite or honey locust trees. To me these trees are far less desirable. Did you read my article about the mesquite?

      There are lots of other trees that grow quickly and easily propagate. Butternut trees up north is one tree that comes to mind.

      Tim, I'm sorry you don't like mimosa trees, and truly sorry they are giving you such grief. Check with your county agent if you haven't already to see if there's something you haven't tried yet.

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      Shyron E Shenko 5 months ago from Texas

      Au fait, I think you know that I am a tree lover/hugger with the exception of the mesquite/devil tree.

      I hope all is well with you.

      Blessings and hugs dear friend.

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      Heather 5 months ago

      I live in Ohio and have 3 Mimosa trees in my yard. I love them.. they are very beautiful.

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      Nichole 5 months ago

      Thank you for the article and information. I just recently discovered the Mimosa as I moved to upstate SC. It is a true beauty, one that I can only describe as soul touching.

      Thanks again for your time and article!

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      Timpearce3@yahoo.com 5 months ago

      How do you kill them all ? I've been battling these monsters for years. Worse than kudzu.

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 6 months ago from North Texas

      Walterrean Salley, thank you for taking time to comment!

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      walterrean salley 6 months ago

      Love the mimosa. Thanks

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 11 months ago from North Texas

      Mostafa Shaheen, thank you for reading and commenting on this article. Thanks to you I have added more information about mimosa ground cover to this article.

      It seems there is more than one kind of mimosa. The mimosa ground cover is what some farmers feed their livestock, and the pods and seeds of the mimosa tree that are toxic.

      I have seen pictures of the yellow mimosa, but never seen the real thing. All the mimosa trees here in North Texas that I have actually seen, and there are many, are pink, and yes, the seeds do provide trees that look just like the parent tree.

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 11 months ago from North Texas

      IAS, thank you for taking time to read and critic this article and for your well intended suggestions. I like to read the comments on an article as it seems you do too, and so I think your comment will serve your concerns well without my adding anymore stern warnings.

      I have added more information about mimosa to this article, though I believe I have sufficiently let people know that in some parts of the country it is considered invasive. Here in North Texas, I hardly ever see mimosa trees anymore. I don't know what has happened to them. They used to be everywhere in late spring/early summer. They're definitely not invasive here, though there are plenty of other things that are.

      While the trees you suggest as substitutes are plentiful here, and very lovely, they can't replace mimosa trees in my mind. I love mimosas and none of these other trees even capture my attention, though as I said, they are very pretty, and probably less messy too.

      I would always recommend anyone with questions about plants or trees and a great many other things as well, contact their local extension office for information, as there is no charge and the agents there are brimming over with excellent information.

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      Mostafa Shaheen 11 months ago

      You mean that this tree gives seeds that grow same as the mother? I heard it never gives the same colour, the flowers are always yellow & pink ones are rare variety.

      In the begining of the article it is said that seeds are used as feed for livestock, then at the end you say it is poisonous!!

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      IAS 11 months ago

      Mimosa/Silk Tree (Albizia julibrissin) is identified as a non-native and invasive weed in the US. This is a fact regardless of personal experience or feelings towards them. But your tone seems to dismiss the severity of the threat and expert consensus. The USDA Forest Service and ecology experts agree that it out-competes native species and threatens habitats. It is a "severe" threat in GA, FL, TN and "significant" threat in SC, KY, and VA. http://www.invasive.org/south/seweeds.cfm http://www.na.fs.fed.us/fhp/invasive_plants/weeds/...

      May I suggest two edits to the main article to help with responsible horticulture:

      1) Add a disclaimer plainly stating that mimosa/silk tree is non-native to the US and may be locally designated as invasive or noxious. Please check local jurisdictions before planting.

      2) Suggest alternatives for those that do not want to plant mimosa where it is designated an invasive. At least one commenter suggested Mountain Ash. Also, serviceberry, redbud, redbark dogwood are all beautiful, native, and will help native ecosystems.

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 13 months ago from North Texas

      Bruce, thank you for your comment. I have been in North Texas for over 27 years and I have never seen any dense clumps of mimosa trees either. In fact, for the last couple of years I've hardly seen any mimosa trees in bloom at all. That is when they stand out IMHO, when they are in bloom, and I love them, as I said in this article.

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      Bruce 14 months ago

      As we said in my childhood "say whaaaaaaaaat?"

      Dense clumps of mimosa trees. I grew up in North central Texas with a lot of visits to the east Texas Piney Woods where grandma lived. I have never seen dense clumps of Mimosa. Even if I had how is that different from the dense cumps of any other tree species in Texas?

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 15 months ago from North Texas

      Colorfulone, thank you for reading and commenting! I'm so glad this article has been useful for you and that you enjoyed it. I recommend you go where there is a nice mimosa that you like and collect a bunch of the seed pods. They should be available about now unless the owners have raked them up. The mimosa trees I have most appreciated were two trees entwined together. Getting them to grow isn't hard. I hope you get one started this summer!

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 15 months ago from North Texas

      JP, thank you for sharing your experiences with mimosa trees. I have had mimosa trees in my yards over the years. I say yards because I lived in different locations and several had mimosa trees. Yes, they do start easily and seedlings will appear in the yard everywhere, but I never found that to be an issue. If they were in a bad location where I didn't want them to grow I just mowed them down along with the grass every couple of days. Here in Texas during the rainy season one must usually cut their grass at least twice a week, sometimes even three times. If the seedlings are mowed regularly (every year or two) they are (IMO) easily managed.

      Yes, in the undeveloped countrywide there are occasionally clumps of mimosa trees, but why is that any more of a problem than a clump of any other kind of tree in that situation? If the land is developed into a housing project for example, every tree, or nearly every tree, regardless of age or type, will be taken out and destroyed. Removing a mimosa tree or a clump of them, is no bigger problem than removing a 100-year old live oak tree. In fact, it's usually easier.

      Once the construction is completed new trees will be planted of whatever kind is preferred, and by the time one's great grandchildren are in the world, those new trees will be almost big enough to provide some shade.

      Up North where I am originally from (now in North Texas, but grew up in central WI), the offending trees were box elder trees. They too grow up like weeds and they are relatively weak so that the slightest wind can damage them or bring their branches down. They are despised by most people because they are messy trees as well. They aren't ever especially pretty that I recall, and never smell so wonderful as mimosas. I think every area of the country has trees native to the area that are less than appreciated.

      Mimosas have all the wonderful things about them described here, where box elders do not, yet they are both 'junk' trees by many people's standards. They aren't strong and long lived like oaks. Your grandfather was right not to let you climb in the mimosas because you might have been injured. They are not good trees to have near a vehicle parking area as they might easily come down on the vehicles parked there in a strong wind.

      I have seen some very large mimosas. One that I recall was about 40 feet or more tall! Very much like one of the tall pine trees except it was a mimosa. Very unusual, and a couple of years ago I went back to the neighborhood where that tree was to get some of its seeds. The tree was gone, removed for the purpose of building new houses. I don't understand why it was removed since it had stood for many many years beside the street and couldn't possibly have been in the way of the builders.

      Pine trees often have very shallow roots and tip over easily in a strong wind storm. Yet they remain popular with a lot of people. Here in North Texas they are highly desirable because they are not native.

      I'm thinking that perhaps your issue with mimosa trees is because you are spoiled. Just a guess since I've never lived in Kentucky. I have lived in 5 different states exposing me to the various problems that tend to be common in a particular area while not being a problem anywhere else.

      The reason I say you may be spoiled is because here in Texas there are lots of problems relating to climate and other naturally occurring things. Only Australia has more nasty poisonous critters (bugs, snakes, etc.) than Texas. We also have more thorns and briars on various foliage and trees than you can imagine. Mesquite trees are hated far more than mimosa trees and they too grow like weeds with tough roots so that cutting them down doesn't mean getting rid of them. So long as a small part of the root remains they will grow back up. Honey locust trees have thorns of the worst sort all over them, too. Holly is a favorite hedge bush for under windows. :)

      Believe me, a mimosa is the most minor of problems compared to mesquite trees and other spiny, thorny, briar covered plants and trees. Entire fields may be covered with nothing but nettles and thorns and briars. Mimosas are at least pretty and they smell divine.

      Yes, some people who aren't aware of the correct name of the tree go by the sounds they hear when other people are talking about them and somewhere along the way mimosa becomes formosa or something else similar in pronunciation. That is where the expression "human beans," comes from also. People repeating what they hear, or what they remember hearing someone else say. Unless something happens to cause a person to look into the correct name of something, that mispronunciation can go on for years and years. That is very common everywhere in this country.

      Thank you again for sharing your memories and experiences with the mimosa tree. I don't think I brought out the fact that they tend to be weak trees, and that can be important when deciding where to put them.

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      Susie Lehto 15 months ago from Minnesota

      I am so glad I visited this article, because I have wanted to know the name of these "mimosa trees" for several years, ever since I first saw some. I love the leaves, and flowers, but I did not know the seeds are poisonous. I would love to have one of these in my yard now that I know the name. Thank you!

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      JP 15 months ago

      Thanks for the information on these trees.

      My grandparents had several in their wood line in Western Kentucky and I used to love how they smelled. I maintain a fondness for them because they remind me of their little house, nestled in the rural area. I could have swore he called them a 'Formosa'.

      My grandfather truly despised them, however, and said they could root anywhere, to include IN the shingles of the roof, inside cracks of concrete without soil, and directly next to other trees or structures.

      I liked to climb but he didn't allow me to climb them, not for love of them but because he said they were really weak and I'd likely fall.

      Believe you me, it may be that they don't happen to cluster in your area, but I have seen them regularly that way in McCracken County, Kentucky.

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      CV 16 months ago

      I have several mimosas in my yard, including one that started growing on its own behind my mailbox. Since the school bus regularly backed into and knocked over my mailbox, I was happy to let it grow. I need to be diligent in cutting branches that grow over the driveway or the road, but I LOVE to see the bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. My next door neighbor, on the other hand apparently believes he has the right to tell me he is going to take a chainsaw to it. The neighbor on his other side just planted a mimosa sapling in her yard and when the one neighbor came home and saw it, he went ballistic. No one is planting trees to annoy this neighbor and I haven't commented on his fricken burmuda grass taking over my lawn. I admit, it is a little annoying to have to rake up the flowers and seedpods when they fall, but the flowers are worth it.

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      C E Clark 16 months ago from North Texas

      J.Stone, thank you for sharing your experience with mimosa trees. I'm so sorry it's causing trouble, but I can imagine a mimosa wouldn't be the best choice for next to a swimming pool. I hope all my readers will take note of that so to save themselves frustrations later. Plant these trees away from your pool and away from your neighbor's pool. That's true of any trees, bushes, flowers, etc. Always think about how they will fit in the area you're planting them in later when they are full grown. Some trees and shrubs, etc., are very messy and require a lot of upkeep. That can be avoided by thinking ahead. I wish I could offer a solution other than removing the tree, but I honestly can't. I hope you and your neighbors can come to an amicable solution. Good luck.

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      J Stone 17 months ago

      my neighbor has mimosa tress....they suck!! yes you can mow them, but they grow back. then you have the stems coming back up. i can hardly walk through my backyard, without tripping over one that is growing back! i have a pool and when the flowers fall they get in the baskets and are really a pain to get out. i heard that there is suppose to be a tree that gives the mimosa a virus that kills it. don't know if that is true...would like to find out if it is, need to do something to keep those damn trees from ruining my yard and pool!!!

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      C E Clark 2 years ago from North Texas

      Peggy W., thank you for commenting, and for sharing this hub! Glad you are enjoying some cooler temps too!

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      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      For people wishing to learn about different types of trees, this is a great article about the Mimosa trees. Sharing once again. They are so decorative! Enjoy those cooler temps up in your part of the state. We are certainly enjoying them here in Houston.

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      C E Clark 2 years ago from North Texas

      Allyn Lapeska, appreciate your dropping by and sharing your thoughts. However, I don't understand what a "volunyeer tree" is, nor can I imagine why anyone would want to kill these beautiful tees.

      Mimosa trees used to blossom profusely every spring in my North Texas town, but this year I haven't seen a singe mimosa in blossom. I'm wondering what has happened to them. If they are, as some people have suggested, such a nuisance, where have they gone?

      I do not understand why some people consider this beautiful tree invasive. It was always a fairly common part of spring here, but now it seems to have disappeared. I look forward to seeing them and smelling their heavenly scent every spring, but this year, no blossoms. I haven't' seen a single mimosa in blossom this year, and I spend a lot of time driving around this city.

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      Allyn Lepeska 2 years ago

      For all the good comments, they are very difficult to kill especially if you have a volunyeer tree that you want to eliminate.

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      C E Clark 2 years ago from North Texas

      Vocalcoach, thank you for reading and commenting on this article and for the votes, share, and such high praise! I've lived with mimosa trees for 28 years and I have never known them to be invasive. Some people seem to think they are, but I have seen no sign of that here in North Texas.

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      C E Clark 2 years ago from North Texas

      Shyron, thank you for sharing this article and for the votes. Hope all is well. Blessings . . .

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      C E Clark 2 years ago from North Texas

      Poetryman6969, thank you for stopping by. I love these trees and they grow here, but I have never seen any sign of them being invasive.

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      Audrey Hunt 2 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      It's good to learn that the Mimosa tree can be invasive. I didn't know this. Your photos are just gorgeous and along with the information you've provided this hub is a winner! Voted up and across and will share.

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      Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago from Texas

      I am back to read about this beautiful tree again and share with the new comers that may not have seen this.

      Voted up, UABI and shared

      Hope all is well with you.

      Blessings and hugs.

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      poetryman6969 2 years ago

      I had never heard that this can be a threatening, invasive species. Thanks for the info.

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      C E Clark 2 years ago from North Texas

      Patricia (pstraubie48), thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts on this article! I didn't know about the dangers of this tree either until a reader left a comment about it and I researched it and found it to be true. I still love them. They are so beautiful and smell so fantastic!

      Thank you too, for the votes and share and especially for the angels.

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      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      When I saw the title I went "O, NO not something I don't want to know about these gorgeous plants." But alas there is. I did not know this. We had an abundance of them in our yard in Virginia and have them here as well. I had NO idea they could be harmful.

      I will be sharing this, Aufait.

      It is important for everyone to be aware.

      Angels are on the way to you this afternoon ps

      Voted up++++ and shared

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      C E Clark 2 years ago from North Texas

      DeborahDian, thank you for reading and commenting on this article. It is only the seedpods that are dangerous if put in one's mouth. The trees are not dangerous and the seedpods last for only a short while. Rake them up and dispose of them, or plant them and have more beautiful mimosas.

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      Deborah Carr 2 years ago from Orange County, California

      I love mimosa trees, but I did not realize they were dangerous. Thanks for letting us know!

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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Mila, thank you for reading and commenting on this article. I love mimosas too! So glad you stopped in and shared your thoughts! :)

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      Mila 3 years ago

      .

      Please don't be jealous just because mimosa trees are SO BEAUTIFUL !!!! I love all species of mimosa trees they're so gracious. Especially ones with yellow flowers - smell heavenly & first ones to bloom early in the spring right in the beginning of a March. Mimosa with pink flowers blooming in the middle of hot summer days & it's gorgeous canapé providing us with much needed shade. I have always admire of it's tropical looks like beauty. I love them so much that three-years ago I did even planted myself one young (pink flowers) mimosa tree by the way sprouted itself from a seed in my garden & than I did transplanted it to one of a sidewalk tree peat that was empty & available on my street where I live at in Manhattan N.Y. since than i keep watching it grow, taking care of it, watering etc. I decided to introduce mimosa tree here for everybody to see, enjoy & appreciate its beauty for many years to come. Let this kind of beauty to be invasive I don't mind that. Always will love them no matter how much people are trying to discourage others from planting mimosa.

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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Sujaya Venkatesh, thank you for stopping by. The mimosa has no thorns.

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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Diane Ayers, thank you for stopping by. There are a couple of close-ups of mimosa flowers in this article. If those are not to your liking you can always go to Google Images and search there. Good luck!

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      sujaya venkatesh 3 years ago

      flowers come with thorns

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      diane ayers 3 years ago

      I am looking for a close up view of the mimosa blossom. I love the mimosa tree blossom and I want to have it tatooed on my leg and want the picture to show the tattoo artist. If anyone can please post a picture for me??????

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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Linnie Livingston, thank you for reading and commenting on this article. Very much appreciate the information you have shared regarding the toxicity of the seed pods.

      I have just read about how they are similar to the poisons in some shellfish and that the seeds themselves can cause seizures. Good to know and I will be updating this article accordingly in the near future.

      In the meantime your comment will be a warning to people that this is a serious negative of these trees. So sad, but we do need to know, and I'm so glad you shared this information.

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      Linnie Livingston 3 years ago

      I hate to be a kill joy about these beautiful trees, but if you have pets or kids that chew on things, they, can be highly toxic. When the pods are at their peak in August and September is the most dangerous time. My friend almost lost her puppy due to chewing on the pods. She ended up in emergency with IVs in her . It took some time and research to figure out the mimosa tree was the culprit.

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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you Deborah-Diane, for stopping by and commenting on this article. I'm glad you like these trees. They're one of my favorite kinds of tree, so pretty in the late evening especially.

      Mimosa trees are messy and they do grow up easily. That offends some people, but of course it isn't the only tree that is messy or easily spread. For some reason some people dislike their ease of growing up, and it's understandable that they might not like their messiness because it can mean more yard work, but sometimes life isn't neatly packaged . . .

    • Deborah-Diane profile image

      Deborah-Diane 3 years ago from Orange County, California

      I know some people do not like mimosa trees, but I think they are beautiful. I was just driving past a shopping center this morning that has several beautiful ones around the perimeter. Lovely.

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      mztwisst, thank you for stopping by.

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      mztwisst 3 years ago

      pretty as the flours are, I bet the bark is better!

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      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you Moonlake, for pinning this hub! I think these are fairly easy trees to grow which is why they scare some people into thinking they're invasive. They will grow like weeks, but one has the discretion to mow them down if they wish . . .

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      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      Pinned this to my garden hub. I use to have small ones in the house.

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      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you moonlake for reading, voting on, and sharing this hub. Some references I've found say they can withstand the cold winters up where you are while others say they can't. I may get my sister to try an experiment if I can find some seedpods and send them to her. Most people here clean them up as soon as they fall, so getting my hands on some may not be so easy, but if I can, I'm going to send her some to see what happens. The only expense involved is the postage for the seeds. She lives in the Wausau area. No telling how long it will take for me to find the seedpods though!

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      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you pstraubie48 for reading this article and sharing your experience with mimosa trees. Some trees are messy and if they're in your yard you may have to keep a hose connected close by and ready to rinse your car off before going out. :)

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      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      I love mimosa and don't have to worry about them being invasive here. We can't grow them. I wish we could I would have one in my yard. Enjoyed your hub voted up and shared.

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      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      The lovely mimosa...we had them on our property when I was a little girl and my Daddy despised them especially the one that was near his car. It dropped its beautiful blossoms on the car and it was a mess.

      However I loved them then and love them still and wish I had one in my yard today.

      Thanks for sharing. Angels are on the way ps

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      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you Shyron, for all the great votes, for the nice compliments, the pinning and the sharing. These really are beautiful trees and I haven't any idea why some people think they are invasive.

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      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Healthyannie, thank you for commenting on this hub! So sorry to hear about your allergies. I, too, have allergies to so many things that I think I will end up living in my own bubble one of these days, but so far as I know mimosa trees are not yet an issue. Glad you could at least enjoy the photos.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 4 years ago from Texas

      Au fait, I think this is the most beautiful tree of all. This is a wonderful hub and the pictures are wonderful, voted up Useful, Beautiful, Awesome and the bit, shared and pinned.

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      Healthyannie 4 years ago from Spain

      I love the Mimosa tree but they give me Hay fever so I will have to look at your beautiful pics. Thank you.

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Hasta luego . .

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      samowhamo 4 years ago

      Well I am going to close down for bed now good night Au Fait.

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      They are pretty.

    • samowhamo profile image

      samowhamo 4 years ago

      Yes those are the same trees they grow in both D.C. Japan and from what I have noticed here in Ohio but I don't know where else they are very beautiful.

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      If you're talking about the cherry blossoms in D.C. they're very pretty, but I even like honey locust trees, so a tree has to be pretty awful before I don't appreciate it.

    • samowhamo profile image

      samowhamo 4 years ago

      Just curious what do you think of those cherry blossom trees I mentioned earlier the Japanese call them Sakura trees.

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      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Sam, if you read the hub you would understand the meaning of the title. Some people think these trees take over and kill other trees out. Not true from my esperience.

    • samowhamo profile image

      samowhamo 4 years ago

      Sorry if I misunderstood the title said threatening but as I said I am not an expert on botany.

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you for checking out this article. Mimosa trees are not deadly and they smell wonderful in blossom. They're always beautiful, but especially at dusk when the leaves close and the blossoms all together look like soft cotton candy clouds.

    • samowhamo profile image

      samowhamo 4 years ago

      I have never heard of these tree's before but then again botany is not my area of expertise ha ha they do look nice though sometimes the most beautiful things in nature are the most deadly. I prefer cheery blossom tree's though like what you see in Japan especially when the petals fall every where it looks almost as though they are flying.

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      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Sharkye11, thank you for stopping by and sharing your experience with mimosa trees. Glad you enjoyed!

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment Shyron. Mimosa trees are one of my favorites and they've just started blooming a week or so ago!

    • Sharkye11 profile image

      Jayme Kinsey 4 years ago from Oklahoma

      Beautiful photos! I adore mimosa trees, but they can be a nuisance. We used to have a huge mimosa next to our home, and it made the BEST climbing tree. We always kept the seedlings cleaned up around it. The sprouted quite well down in SE Oklahoma. I have one here on the back of my property, and have been trying to grow a new one in the yard. As easy as they are to sprout, they are not always so easy to grow.

      Love this hub!

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      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Thanks for stopping by Julie. The mimosas are just beginning to bloom here in N. Texas. I always look forward to their flowers.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 4 years ago from Texas

      I love this hub, I love trees, with the exception of the Devil Tree.

      I do not know why but when I hear about the Mimosa an overwhelming sadness comes over me. I know that I associate it with something sad, but can't remember what it is, I wish I could remember.

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      Julie 4 years ago

      We love our Mimosa trees. They live to be approximately 30 to 40 years!

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      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you for pinning this article Peggy W!

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      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Au fait,

      Now that I have a Pinterest account, I am going to pin this interesting hub to my trees board.

    • Au fait profile image
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      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you Deborah-Diane for reading and commenting on this hub and for sharing your experience in regard to mimosa trees here in Texas.