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What Does a Mimosa Tree Look Like?

Updated November 21, 2016

Mimosa trees are graceful trees with feathery leaves arranged like miniature palm fronds. Their tiny leaves close like hands when touched--even by the rain--and their pink, red or yellow flowers are composed of thousands of individual rays like fireworks.

Basics

Mimosa trees grow to their full height of 30 to 40 feet quickly, but they are also short-lived. The average lifespan is 20 to 25 years.

Geography

Mimosa trees are hardy from zones 6 to 10. They currently grow throughout the Southeast United States and as far north as New Jersey, but they are native from Iran to Japan.

Names

The Mimosa tree is also known as the "Silk Tree" and "Pink Siris." The scientific name is Albizia julibrissin.

Warning

Mimosa trees are prolific self-seeders and are considered to be an invasive nuisance and have been put on the "Least Wanted" list by the Plant Conservation Alliance's Alien Plant Working Group.

Seeds

Mimosa seeds form in flat green pods that are quite similar in appearance to snow pea pods. The mature pods are a greyish-brown and the seeds inside are dark brown.

Fun Fact

According to the Plant Conservation Alliance, "One study showed that 90 per cent of the seeds were viable after 5 years and, for another species of mimosa, a third of its seeds germinated after 50 years in open storage. "

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About the Author

Jenn Mercer is a Writer, Poet, and Translator (French > English) living in Raleigh, NC. She has Bachelors degrees in both English (Creative Writing) and French from NC State University. Mercer has been published in the Grapevine, Astropoetica, Talkin Blues, Nth Degree, the CATI Quarterly, The Fix, and Uncle John's Bathroom Reader for Kids.