OTHER COMMON NAMES: CATCLAW, SENSITIVE-BRIAR
Albizia julibrissin (al-BIZ-ee-ah jul-leh-bry-sin)
Fabaceae (Legume Family) Deciduous tree
HEIGHT: 15 to 20 feet
SPREAD: 25 to 40 feet
FINAL SPACING: Do not plant
NATURAL HABITAT AND PREFERRED SITE: I don’t know where this plant is native, but I wish it had stayed there. It now grows all over the place, but poorly. The plant is actually native to India and Nepal.
IDENTIFICATION INFORMATION: It is a wide-spreading tree with long stems and branches. It has fluffy pink flowers in the summer followed by bean-like pods.
FLOWERS AND FRUIT: Fluffy pink attractive flowers in the summer. The bean pods are typical legume bean pods, 5 to 8 inches long. The flowers flower from May to August.
BARK: Very smooth and gray. Mimosas make very good climbing trees.
FOLIAGE: Deciduous and has a pretty lousy yellow fall color. Leaves are alternate, deciduous, lacy, typical legume foliage.
CULTURE: Will grow in basically in any soil but the tree doesn’t last long in any soil. It is basically dying out across the United States which is unfortunate because it is really pretty when healthy. It needs normal water and normal fertilization. The Sick Tree Treatment might be able to keep the tree healthy and alive for a longer period of time but nothing can change the fact that it is a very short lived tree.
PROBLEMS: Short life, destructive root system and various insect and disease infestations.
PROPAGATION: Easy from seed or cuttings but who would want to?
INSIGHT: I have said it before and I’ll say it again - it may be the ultimate junk tree, but it is in a close race with Siberian elm, fruitless mulberry and silver maple.