Albizzia julibrissin - Mimosa or Silk Tree

Family - Leguminosae

Size - 25 to 30 feet in height, spread at least equal to or greater than height. Broad spreading with a rounded, mushroomed crown. Growth rate is fast, 3 feet or more per year is not unusual.

Foliage - Alternate, bipinnately compound, up to 20" long with numerous pinnae, each having 40 to 60 small leaflets. Very fine textured and tropical in appearance.

Flower - Flowers are unusually attractive and slightly fragrant. They have numerous fiber optics like, 1" to 1 1/2" long stamens that merge from white to a violet-pink that make the flower appear brush-like. Flowering is profuse in late May and June and occurs sporadically on various trees throughout July and August.

Pests and Diseases - A vascular wilt disease has been particularly destructive on many Mimosa throughout the south. This usually ends up killing the tree to the ground and then it resprouts back with numerous suckers. I have seen many trees killed by this disease, while others seem to persist on unaffected.

Landscape Use - Not a whole lot due to potential disease problems. In the south one shouldn't have to plant Mimosa, just create a 'waste area' in your yard as they seed prolifically and should colonize it in a short time. People have a affinity for this tree, my youngest daughter has asked me, "Can we have one of those in our yard?" My answer is, well.............um, we'll see.

Performance - 2 It does have a attractive flower and fairly nice foliage, but it just doesn't have a whole lot of potential for the long term. Hardy in to zone 6, but will likely be killed back or damaged during winters north of this zone.


Mimosa foliage

Mimosa flower