Wild Weeds – Weed of the Month
Mimosa Trees are an invasive species in Florida, originating from China. The plant was introduced as an ornamental for homes and gardens but has since escaped into the natural areas due to its prolific seed production. This plant is frequently seen on the roadside and invading in forests. The tree can reach heights of 20 to 40 feet but usually has a wide, branching canopy. Each leaf branch has 20-60 leaflets, making it easily noticeable while driving down the road, as it has a fern or feather like appearance. Seeds begin appearing in later summer/early fall and usually persist until the winter, the tree typically loses its leaves after the first frost which leaves the seed pods hanging from the branches.
Mimosas begin to flower in May and continue through July. The flowers are beautiful pink pom-pom like flowers, and are especially fragrant. One of the notable reasons this tree was introduced as an ornamental is its flowers. The tree also has the ability to produce in varying soil types and can withstand quite a bit of injury/neglect. Although great in the garden, the tree has caused immense issues in natural areas and should be removed if identified.
Invasive species are classified as such due to its foreign nature to the environment in question and its ability to cause environmental or economic harm. Many invasive species are first introduced purposely by humans to be used as ornamentals in the lawn or garden. It is very important to research before you buy any plants to be used in your home landscape, and try to stick with Florida natives when you can. Learn more here: https://assessment.ifas.ufl.edu/assessments/albizia-julibrissin/
Wild Weeds is a monthly spotlight written by Alicia Halbritter, Baker County Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent. Wild Weeds highlights weeds you may find in Florida on the roadside, while hiking, in the forest, or possibly even in your yard. Searching for more information on a particular plant? Email Alicia at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information/questions.