Thursday, June 18, 2009


"There are too many other high-quality trees in this cruel world to warrant planting this tree." - U.S. Forest Service in Fact Sheet ST68

Albizia julibrissin Mimosa or Silk Tree
Non-Native in Florida

No one will argue that the Mimosa Tree isn't beautiful. With it's pink "powder puff" crown atop fern like leaves, it is an eye catcher in the landscape

Originally from China, Mimosa or Silk tree was introduced to the United States in 1745 and cultivated since the 18th century primarily for use as an ornamental. Mimosa remains a popular ornamental because of its fragrant and showy flowers. Due to its ability to grow and reproduce along roadways and disturbed areas, and its tendency to readily establish after escaping from cultivation, mimosa is considered a Category II invasive by Florida’s Exotic Pest Plant Council and should not be planted in residential landscapes.

Invasive non-native plants can outgrow, replace, and otherwise destroy our native plants. That's because non-native plants usually do not have their natural enemies -- the diseases, insects and other environmental stresses -- that keep them in check in their native ranges. The destruction and replacement of our native plants has several significant consequences:
  • Our natural biodiversity is destroyed;
  • Our native plants can be eliminated;
  • Our wildlife have evolved to use native plants are not able to make use of non-native plants. As a result, they leave the area or die off.
You'll see many of these trees which have already escaped cultivation along the roadside and in the forests. Please keep them out of your home landscapes.


  1. It is very pretty and very invasive. There is a tree in our neighbors yard and my husband loves it because it reminds him of his childhood. I put my efforts into eliminating popcorn trees. You have to choose your battles.

  2. I hear ya. We removed 8 popcorn trees from our yard when we moved in. Before I knew how invasive they were I really liked their fall color--reminded me of New England. But...

  3. It's kind of funny if you think about our own version of invasion. I'm a Midwest transplant, born to Romanian and German immigrants. Our daughter-in-law is from Peru, and her dad is Japanese. One good thing about the mimosa is its nitrogen-fixing ability. It's a legume.

  4. Hi W2W
    Thanks for stopping by. There is irony here for sure. My own family came from European shores and have adapted just fine. The plant world seems to have different rules where natives should win, but don't always. Then there is the Darwinian theory of survival of the fittest. Hard to know when to intervene.


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