Mimosa, silk tree
Vascular – Exotic
Trees & Shrubs - Dicotyledons
Still sparingly naturalized in the northern North Island and near Nelson in the South Island. Silk tree in the last decade has started to naturalize more freely and saplings are now commonly seen in the vicinity of planted trees but also, more worryingly on forest margins and along waterways where one presumes seed pods have floated.
A small-medium sized tree, 6-14m tall. Light brown bark, nearly smooth and thin, with lens shaped areas along the stem. Leaves are fern-like and finely divided, 13-20cm long x 8-10cm wide, and alternate along the stems. Showy pink pom-pom flowers, about 4 cm long, are arranged in panicles at the ends of branches. Flat straw-coloured pods about 15cm long contain light brown oval shaped seeds. Pods ripen Feb-March and remain on trees into winter.
Asia, from Turkey to Japan
Reason for introduction
albizia: Named after Filipo del Albizzi, an 18th century Florentine nobleman who introduced A. julibrissin into cultivation in Europe.