The mimosa tree, also known as the silk tree, is a deciduous tree in the legume family. It is frequently planted along city streets or used as an ornament in gardens or near the seashore.
The mimosa tree can grow up to 40 feet tall in the South but tops out at about 30 feet in cooler climates. The tree's bark is smooth and light brown. Leaves are 12 to 18 inches long and can fold up at night or upon being touched.
Mimosa trees typically flower from early to mid-summer. The puff-like flowers range in colour from milky white to bright pink.
Native to warm climates of southern and eastern Asia, the mimosa has been introduced to warm and moderate climates of Europe and North America. Because it reseeds so readily, it is classified as an invasive species in Florida.
The mimosa tree thrives in a dry, acidic soil. The soil must be well drained to prevent the development of a fungus disease known as mimosa wilt.
Webworm caterpillars are the most common pest to affect mimosa trees. According to the University of Illinois, affected branches should be removed and destroyed at the first sign of caterpillar infestation. Insecticides, such as acephate and carbaryl, may be used. (see reference 1)