The Q&A Archives: Mimosa Tree

Question: I have been looking for a Mimosa tree to plant in the backyard of our new house, but from the description given of Mimosa trees I have the feeling that it is not what I'm looking for. I was born in Italy and the Mimosa tree there bears large bunches of small, very fluffy, plumy, bright yellow flowers with a delicate fragrance. Can I find one in the USA? Will it grow well in Southern California. Any pointers will be greatly appreciated.

Answer: Mimosa is the common name for both Acacia abyssinica and Albizia julibrissin. I suspect you're looking for Acacia abyssinica, with finely divided, feathery leaves and yellow puffy flowers. This tree will grow 20'-25' tall and 20'-25' wide and is hardy in your growing region. There are dozens of Acacia cultivars to choose from, with flowers ranging from pairs to clusters, described as fluffy, puffy, spikes and masses. Now that you know the botanical name of the tree, you can investigate the habits of each and decide which Acacia you'd like to plant in your new yard.

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