Formosa Mimosa Tree Care and Maintenance
Formosa Mimosa, Silk Tree, Powder Puff. The beautiful exotic Tropical Tree of ours sat proudly in the side yard of my grandmother Pearls country home. We observed the Formosa towering among the rambling roses and morning glories. In addition, of course the long forgotten outhouse with its throw rugs and lilac scented sachet. The Formosa as we knew it with its beautiful delicate pink powder puff blooms that lured you to the side yard with its sweet scent, made you think for a moment you were on some exotic tropical island.
The Formosa tree I have learned is really a Mimosa tree from China. They thought the Mimosa/ Formosa Tree to the US in 1745 possibly by seed. The mix up in names came during the war years of 1940 when the Nationalist Chinese were taking refuge from Chairman Mao’s communist on “Formosa” known today as Taiwan. Formosa is the Portuguese word for beautiful Mimosa (Albizia julibrissin)
The Mimosa Formosa Tree grows to a small to medium size tree that can grow 20 to 40 feet tall. It is a member of the legume plant family. The bark is light brown and smooth, young stems are lime green color. The Formosa Leaves are alternately displayed on the Formosa /Mimosa Tree 6-20 inches long, having 20-60 leaflets per branch. The leaf design gives the Mimosa a fern like or feathery appearance. The powder puff blooms flower from May through July in clusters. The sweet fragrant flowery blooms of the Mimosa/ Formosa are about 1 ½ inches long. Pods are straw colored and 6 inches long containing 5 to 10 light brown oval shaped seeds about 1/2 inches in length. Pods stay on the plant through the winter months.
Mimosa /Formosa’s reproduce both by seed and vegetative. Seeds are dispersed close to the parent plant; they can also be dispersed by water. Amazing enough wildlife can spread the Mimosa seed through in gestation and excretion. Mimosa/ Formosa tree also occurs when trees are cut back causing quick re growth
The Formosa /Mimosa tree is strong and hardy, it has the ability to grow in various soils and produce large amounts of seeds. Vegetative reproduction occurs when trees are disturbed causing quick re growth.
Preventive maintenance is very important with the Formosa/ Mimosa tree. Removing the Formosa/ Mimosa tree must be done with care and before seeds are produced.
How to get rid of a Mimosa/ Formosa Tree:
There are no known biological agents for the control of the Formosa tree. To rid your yard of the Mimosa /Formosa tree cut to ground level. Repeated cutting for re sprouts will be necessary, most effective when trees have begun to flower to prevent seed production. Make a cut through the bark encircling the base of the tree, approximately six inches above the ground, ensuring the cut goes well below the bark. This will kill the top of the tree but the tree may re sprout and require a follow up treatment with an herbicide. Hand pulling the entire root is necessary to ensure complete removal.
Some look at the Formosa/Mimosa tree as an invading weed, others think it should be on the endangered list. With a little garden know how, you can maintain this exotic tree and enjoy the fragrant sweet blooms from May-July. Make your own family memories with your Mimosa/Formosa Tree.