The mimosa tree made its debut in America during the 18th century, and soon became a favorite in Southern gardens. On the French Riviera, the mimosa tree is celebrated with a Mimosa Festival that includes festivities in Mandelieu, La Napoule, Tanneron and Grasse. There are tours to Europe’s largest mimosa forest, a mimosa plantation and even a perfumery that utilizes mimosa in its fragrances. The history of the mimosa tree in Europe began with its introduction from central China and Persia.
When Helen Keller (1880 to 1968) was just 19 months old, she suffered an illness that left her deaf and blind. Her salvation was a gifted teacher named Anne Sullivan of the Perkins Institute for the Blind, who came into her life when Keller was 7 and opened a whole new world for her, teaching her to communicate. Keller was born in Tuscumbia, Alabama, and her home, known as Ivy Green, is where the Helen Keller Mimosa (Albizia julibrissin) grows. The tree is originally from the state of Iowa. American Forests (Americanforests.org), which offers the Helen Keller Mimosa for sale, is a nonprofit conservation group. The tree is part of its “Famous & Historic Trees” program, which propagates and sells the offspring of trees that have a connection to famous individuals. This is one among several programs operated by American Forests, the aim of which is to promote the environmental and other benefits of trees.
Stark Bro’s Nurseries and Orchards Co. (Starkbros.com) was established in Louisiana, Missouri in the early 1800s. The company prides itself on a standard of horticultural excellence and is famous for its Red Delicious and Golden Delicious Apples. The E.H. Wilson Mimosa Tree, a hardy variety, is among the wide range of items sold by the company. With clusters of delicate pink flowers, this ornamental tree, which can grow up to 40 feet tall, is an attraction for hummingbirds and butterflies. The company has a large garden center in Louisiana, Missouri, close to the original log cabin built by Judge Hart Stark when he and his family settled there.
Fast Growing Trees
As its name indicates, the Fast Growing Trees Nursery (Fast-growing-trees.com) sells trees that have been cultivated to grow rapidly. This nursery was established in 2003 with a view to growing and selling trees that are not only faster growing, but also resistant to insects, disease and fire, and stronger in form. The company’s website describes the mimosa tree as drought tolerant and adaptable to any type of soil, with hot pink blooms and a light gray bark that provide a pleasant contrast. The tree is said to grow to a height of between 20 and 25 feet.
Martha’s Secrets (Marthassecrets.com) features a “Summer Chocolate Mimosa” or Black Silk Tree, whose leaves start out as bronze or green in color, but darken to a rich chocolate color. These trees are gallon-size.