Thursday, August 19, 2010

Mimosa Tree

By SkeeterI had planned to continue talking about seeds today as a follow up to Tuesdays post. I have changed my mind and will be talking about a tree instead. I have been finding more and more of these seedlings in my Georgia garden this summer. I usually spot a few here and there but this year, they are all over my Wishing Well Garden. This area is a prime route for birds heading to my feeders in the backyard. I assume, they are the planters of the seeds. I usually just pluck the weeds and toss them. I have always thought them to resemble a Mimosa Tree but not sure of their identity. One started growing in what I considered a great spot for something tall. So I have decided to let the seedling grow and see what happens. My grandmother had a beautiful Mimosa Tree in her front yard. As a child I would climb that small tree and had so much fun in it while playing Monkey. I remember the beautiful foliage of the tree being so exotic looking. I also remember the long Bean Pods she produced filled with seeds. And the sticky but beautiful and sweet smelling scent to the fluffy pink flowers it shared with us.
I did a bit of research on Mimosa trees (also known as Silk Trees) and think I have one now growing in my garden! I found a site (Click HERE) that tells how invasive they can be in some areas.
I really do like where this one is growing as it will balance out this garden. The tall Canna to the right and the Mimosa to the left of the walkway path in the middle. With growth will come shade though and I am not sure the Canna would like the shade. The plants around the Mimosa are things which can easily be moved elsewhere. The Banana Tree was to be the focal point of this side of the planter but as you can see, she is not growing tall this year. I do have another Banana on the other side of the planter which is doing well.
She is growing quickly so I must decide if I want this tree to remain or become another victim to the compost pile. She is already taller then the swing frame and growing more each day.
The above picture was snapped on Aug 2...
This above picture, was snapped yesterday Aug 18. She has really grown in 2 weeks. Should I let this Mimosa grow and be a tree or just pull the thing up before she starts giving me a mess? I do know they are messy. Do you think she would shade the Canna or the Swing Vines too much or be okay where that is concerned? The Swing is West while the Mimosa is towards the East. This entire planter runs East and West. I would really like to hear what you all have to say on this matter. I would love to keep her for my childhood memories but I am not sure I want this MIMOSA TREE, In the Garden...

Note: There's some interesting talk on the comments about whether this is a Mimosa, Cassia, Hemp or Locust tree. I cannot decide so I will let her grow a bit longer and see what happens with this mystery tree... I love a good mystery, don't you?

Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team,In the Garden


  1. This is such a personal decision - and given the beauty of your yard/gardens, I think you can trust your judgment.

    We inherited a couple of fast-growing trees when we moved here six years ago. This summer, we cut them down and have been dealing with shoots that (apparently) grow from the roots - within a radius of 6-10'!

    I'm sure you'll make a good decision.

  2. Even though they are invasive here, I still like them. They will grow where few other trees will, they have pretty blooms and they have an exotic look about them. I put in a 'Summer Chocolate' in my garden which is a Mimosa with burgundy foliage. I say keep yours, but remember they are not long lived.

  3. Skeeter,

    Pull it out quickly! To be honest that looks like a cassia to me, could be wrong. We have mimosa here terribly hard to get rid of. A back hoe pulled out the big ones 2-3 years ago, still getting root starts from those trees. The thing I hate the most about mimosa is it'll seed in the garden bed and you need to dig to China to get rid of it.

  4. What a decision! Things that are really invasive are such a pain to deal with, trying to get rid of them. You won't really know if this is a Mimosa until it blooms. Are there any in your neighborhood? The blooms are pretty and the tree exotic and it brings you wonderful memories, now comes the hard part, deciding to keep it or not. It would look beautiful in your garden though. :-)


  5. Sunlight can easily get through the fine leaves of mimosa tree. A few plants below can still live happily, eager as everyone else to see the first fluffy pink flower.... never easy to chop a tree down..... yea. ~bangchik

  6. I actually bought two Mimosa seedlings this spring at a Farmer's Market. I think they are beautiful with their fringy leaves and will soften the look of our yard. I planted one inside our backyard fence and it has grown incredibly these last few weeks. I planted the other at the front side yard of our house and the rabbits nibbled it to a stub a few weeks ago. Yesterday it is looking good as ever despite all the rabbit-munching. I think they are beautiful trees and so different looking. Since our yard had no trees in it 3 years ago our goal is to add, not take away.
    It's hard to make a decision when it comes to invasive plants, but that's what a lawnmower and weedwacker are for-lol:)

  7. Mimosa aren't as invasive here as we're on the edge of where they'll even survive but I do know of two large ones in town. Also, my mom and dad have one (a zone south). My mom got the seeds from her aunt and lovingly planted it where it would shade the gate to the vegetable garden. That was the year before I was born and I have great memories of playing in the tree. She's given little seedlings to various family and friends. We have so many family photos by the Mimosa tree. I think they're beautiful. You'll have to decide if you want to pull out the extras you get in your area. I do like the spot it is growing. Good luck!

  8. The bed can use a little height. I may have relocated it within the bed to one side, but the airy leaf structure should give nice structure without losing too much sunlight, for a while anyway. Keep it for a while if you don't mind weeding out the little ones.

  9. Wow, this is a thorny sticky subject this morning as we all know. I always advise others on what I'd do in my garden and I tell you-it would be gone quickly. Mimosas are pretty-in other people's yards-not mine. That's not really true, I think there are far better trees than mimosa and even though they are pretty, that would never entice me to plant one or encourage others to plant one. But! To each their own.

    I will say this, I agree with Randy in that I'm not even sure this is a mimosa seedling. It can be hemp or locust. A locust if it has thorns but honestly the leaves look more like hemp. Check this website below: The book I have shows mimosa leaves as fitting into one another and not rounded off like yours that is why I don't think it is a mimosa. There are a few other double legume trees that resemble mimosa but regardless, I'd still be getting rid of it. Not necessarily because I'm a purist with invasives (I'm not), but I can imagine the weeding and the spread of this tree and I think that your yard has a more natural and southern feel so the mimosa tree is not really going to fit in.

    Check this link:

  10. Hi Skeeter!

    I think Tina may be right and that it isn't a mimosa tree. My bet is that it's a locust. We have several along our slope and they can be a pain to mow around. If it were a mimosa tree I would be pulling it out. They are very beautiful trees but spread so easily. Back in East TN where I used to live they were everywhere in our neighborhood. Seedlings spout up all over the place. I think the locust tree is pretty in spring (nice flower display)- from a distance - if you don't have to mow around it!

  11. I have an apt so must make this quick. I have read what each of you has to say and I am most impressed with your comments!

    I looked at the site you recommended Tina and have come to the conclusion that I do NOT have a Cassia as they only get to the height of 3 feet tall. This puppy is way beyond that height. I am still looking at the Hemp possibility but they get to 6 feet tall and I think this plant in my yard may be taller then 6 feet now! I never even thought of a Locust Tree and I should have as my dad had several of them in his yard! I think for now, I will allow this mystery plant to continue to grow and see what she turns in to! I find things like this fun but she may come out of the ground in time. But for now, I think we will see what happens...

    I must run, I will drop by to visit each of you later...

  12. Skeeter, i love trees and this one looks so neat. It is really up to you though, doesn't sound like it needs much attention now so if you were to keep it you might clip the top so the trunk will thicken up.

  13. Oh tough decision Skeeter and one I certainly can't help with cause around here we say if she has more than one choice she's in trouble . . . LOL
    I do think Mimosa's are beautiful trees though - in fact I brought a couple of starts from my Mother In Law's place years ago and they grew a bit but didn't survive.
    I'd probably do what you decided after reading comments and let it grow for a while and see what happens. Good luck with whatever you end up doing.

  14. Skeeter,

    There is a cassia that can grow to about 12 ft tall I think that is what you have! It grows in our coastal plain and I see small colonies of it along the roadside. Cloudless Sulphur and Sleepy Orange butterflies use it as a host plant.
    I went out and looked at our mimosa the leaflets are much smaller and nearly touch each other, never seen one grow in the shape you have, yet that "giant" cassia looks to be a perfect match.

  15. I have no clue what you have there, but my parents had a mimosa tree at their house at the coast. I loved that tree. I don't think it is invasive there. I am not much help in your decision. Use your best judgement. Carla

  16. Skeeter, If it is indeed a cassia as Randy says and only grows to about 12 feet it might not be so bad to have a colony of them. Kind of like sumac maybe? I have that here.

  17. Gee, y'all, I cannot decide what this tree could be! I will let her continue to grow for now and keep my eye on it and decide as she matures.

    There is nothing like a good mystery in the garden. I have had several this year...

  18. My son is growing a Sensitive plant. Are they related to the Mimosa? The leaves look identical.

  19. I admit I like the scent of blooming mimosa trees and the flower is cool looking. ~They can get weedy and set seed everywhere. gail

  20. Hi Tina

    Interesting when a seedling just appears and yes it does look like a Mimosa tree but I have one just like that growing in my greenhouse a seedling brought back by my daughter and husband from their garden in The Gambia. Their's is a Flamboyant tree with flowers just as spectacular as a Mimosa. I also have several 3
    year old Jacaranda trees in pots, as not frost tolerant they too have similar leaves.

    I wonder if I will be around to see any of them flower one day!

    Thanks for your comment on my Lyme blog I do appreciate comments on there. Although I can have between 50-100 hits a day I rarely get comments.

    Earlier I posted amazing news about the Human Gamma Retro virus HGRV found to be associated not just with ME/CFS but probably many other Neuro illnesses too and some Lyme Disease cases have already been found to have this( previously named XMRV it is actually really a HGRV)

    Millions of patients the World over can/may be helped because of this finding, much bigger than HIV/AIDS epidemic.

  21. i'll tell you like someone told me about the wisteria coming up in my water garden... "get that thing out of there right now while you still can!" Mimosa is a fast growing weak tree, i would plant something slower growing and strong like a red maple or something that size.

  22. Joanne, My pleasure. Such a sad thing when anyone dies let alone someone who was misdiagnosed. I found the link on FB so checked it out. You do a good job putting info out on Lyme Disease.

  23. I have no idea what kind of tree this is, and since I'm also not familiar with mimosas, I can't give you any advice, Skeeter. But if it is as invasive as several people say...well, I would pull it out. There are so many other alternatives to give you some height in the garden without worrying about whether it might take over that I think I'd look into one of those.

    Now the mimosas served at brunch would be a different story:)

  24. I just LOVE mimosa trees. They are a bit too tender to grow here though. We did try growing a few times but they didn't survive the Winter. I just love the flowers!

  25. They are a bit of a weed in my area too. Of course they grow in spots that alot of things don't too. I think their beautiful when their in full bloom. :)

  26. It also looks somewhat like a pyacanthas tree. They do grow fast and have orange berries in the fall. If I remember right Dave posted on one so it seems if it were that he would have picked up on it.

  27. OK, it is now 2013. Are you still there Skeeter, because I have one of these growing out in front of my house. It is only about 18 inches right now, but I'm not sure what kind of tree it is going to be. What did yours turn out to be?

    1. Hi Unknown! Yes, Skeeter is still here but she does not usually check older posts and their comments so I will let her know you want to know if this did indeed turn out to be mimosa. I suspect it was as they grow very fast and have a habit of self seeding everywhere but I will have her get back here to respond when she can.

    2. Hello and welcome to In the Garden "Unknown".

      I had a follow-up posting to this original post on the mimosa and failed to link it back to this posting. Here is the Follow-Up Posting if you are interested in see it.

      I ended up pulling the tree from the ground as I suspected it to be the Cassia Tree. This tree had a great hold to the ground and was a tough one to pull by the roots.

      This year with lots of Spring and Summer Rain fall, I am seeing tons of the seedlings and pull them as I spot them. The part about the plant bean being poisonous did not please me as my neighbors pets frequent my gardens. I do not wish to harm my little furry visitors.

      I can only assume that birds love the seeds and they are the culprits planting them for me.

      Thanks for stopping in for a visit and chat...
      Happy Gardening!