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Mimosa wish

Posted by widdringtonia 8a (My Page) on
Wed, Aug 21, 13 at 11:57

I wish that anyone who wants to plant a mimosa (albizia julibrissin) because it's so pretty, and then ignores all the advise about "please don't because it's invasive", and protests that even though they're in the middle of the southeastern US, they've never seen any mimosas grown anywhere except in their granny's garden way back in the dark ages would volunteer to weed the eleventy billion seedings I pull out of my garden each year.

There are some escaped mimosas around, the closest is about 1/4 of a mile away. There are none in my adjacent neighbours' houses. And still I have these seedlings everywhere.

At least they're quite easy to get out of the ground. If only there weren't so many of the darned things.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Mimosa wish

I wish it :-)

Different context here and very low invasive potential. You're unlikely to see me in the middle of the southeast weeding for you :-)


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RE: Mimosa wish

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Wed, Aug 21, 13 at 15:55

Funny that you are getting so many from 1/4 mile away when the tree uses bean-like pods of comparatively large (as in not dust-like) seeds to disperse itself.


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RE: Mimosa wish

There are plenty of herbaceous weeds like "look like" mimosa seedlings. Things like partridge pea (Chamaecrista fasciculata) and chamberbitter (Phyllanthus urinaria) and others.

I still wish for people to not plant Albizia julibrissin on purpose and to weed it out if it shows up. It has no natural place in the US and takes up space that could be supporting something that is natural to here.


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RE: Mimosa wish

It has no natural place in the US and takes up space that could be supporting something that is natural to here.

And the same can be said for all manner of other very common and often very desirable garden plants. Just because a plant is a "native" (whatever that means as the US is a huge place and native in one area may be considered quite exotic in another) does not necessarily make it any more desirable and attractive or less aggressive than one that is not.

As with many other situations it is all about context and location. Like smivies above, Albizias here are considered rather desirable and with minimal invasive potential.


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RE: Mimosa wish

As is the case with Paulownia, I _wish_ plant geneticists would create a truly sterile form. Yes, you don't want a Paulownia near your house. But if you have a large property, they are a pretty tree in the right spot. As close as you are going to get to a Jacaranda in a temperate climate.
Likewise if Albizia were just being introduced the western horticulture, rare plant collectors would be going absolutely gaga over it. They have an undeniable exotic beauty. But, yes, I wish the one in my white trash neighbor's yard wasn't there because I have to dig about 20-30 seedlings out every year.


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RE: Mimosa wish

Yes, what gardengal said. I previously made a similar point in a thread about ivy, but I think even the smarter denizens of this board misunderstood what I was saying. It's not that we should just give up fighting every invasive. It's that the harm of every invasive needs to be balanced in a larger context. If we can't have any non-natives we need to stop cultivating the midwest & south with soy, corn, cotton, etc, and return them to prairies and pine forests, respectively. (and of course return the central valley of CA to a marsh or whatever it was) None native Americans, for that matter, should leave. We aren't native either.
In the PNW, I can see why they are fighting ivy. It's invading and damaging pristine areas up there. In the mid-Atlantic, sure ivy can be invasive, but it only invades areas that are already in some ways spoilt. I've now driven both the US east coasts & west coasts, there's no comparison with how less densely developed the west is. Look at this map:
http://demographics.coopercenter.org/DotMap/index.html
(and note that south of Virginia, though the dot density decreases, that area is intensively managed; pine plantations, tobacco or cotton fields, etc.)

Ignoring the point which is to show racial distribution, you can see how different these areas are. I'd much rather have "invasive" ivy than native poison ivy or smilax, which are the the weeds it mainly competes against here. I have no doubt, for example, that poison ivy could eventually kill a tree just as easily as English ivy; in fact, it forms aerial "branches" even longer than ivy, which reach out beyond the canopy of the tree. I just cut some Toxicodendron out of a maple a couple years ago, it had completely engulfed the canopy. So, you just have 2 species competing for the same niche of "Forest Edge", *which wouldn't exist except for human habitation*. If someone can provide a link to an article conclusively showing ivy harms mature woodlands in the east, please post it. NB for example vast areas of New England that are now wooded were once farmland. In the 19th cent. everyone gave up on the rocky soil and (comparatively) cloudy climate and moved out west somewhere. Except in the mountains very little of New England is "virgin" forests, and even those were cleared of large trees like white pine by the English.

Here is a link that might be useful: http://demographics.coopercenter.org/DotMap/index.html


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RE: Mimosa wish

I found that prior post of mine to locate this essay, from one of the brightest minds of the 20th century:
http://arnoldia.arboretum.harvard.edu/pdf/articles/483.pdf

Notice he points out the native Vitis can severely damage trees, too.

Here is a link that might be useful: http://arnoldia.arboretum.harvard.edu/pdf/articles/483.pdf


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RE: Mimosa wish

Of course invasiveness is about context and location. I would not dispute that. There are plenty of things around here that are not native but are not invasive: crape myrtle, gardenia, loropetalum, indian hawthorn, forsythia, most roses, etc., etc. Each one of those does displace a regionally native plant that could be used there. A regionally native plant that could be supporting the local environment, providing food and support for the local fauna. Those regional natives ARE more desirable and attractive to the communities that they evolved with.

I'm not an "all natives" person but we've certainly got to do better in our "landscaped" areas than we do now. Dozens of yards around me filled with turfgrass and the plants I mentioned above plus nandina, callery pear, vitex, blue hydrangeas and liriope. The same plants, over and over and none of them native.

Sure we can have non natives, but can we tilt the percentage in our landscapes higher towards natives at least? We are not on this planet alone and we need to stop acting like we are the only species that matters when it comes to the land we inhabit.


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RE: Mimosa wish

I asked a while back and forgot to check the answers, if any, that I had gotten. I regardless am not going to plant any, they are beautiful, but I need to cool it with my tree planting, I want my (oaks) to be able to get large, and that means uncrowded.


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RE: Mimosa wish

In central Texas and further west, they do not appear invasive, assume this is due to the dryness of the climate. We average ~30" annually. The humming birds like them.
Further east however they can be a real nuisance. Have seen them spread downstream ~ 300 yds from one tree in north Louisiana. Not a recommended tree from east Tx. to the east coast.


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RE: Mimosa wish

  • Posted by jcalhoun 8b Mobile County AL (My Page) on
    Sun, Aug 25, 13 at 3:31

Mimosa, popcorn tree and chinese privets are taking over the southeast.


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RE: Mimosa wish

Why not plant mimosa in a large tub if you live in the Southeast, so it doesn't get so large and then you can easily deadhead the flowers so they don't go to seed? That way you can have your mimosa and not have it spreading all over the place? Also, by keeping it in a tub, using a good quality potting soil, there won't be the problem of vascular wilt killing it..hopefully anyway. They're actually very beautiful planted in tubs because the flowers are easier to see and at eye level.


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RE: Mimosa wish

bboy and esh_ga, I'm pretty sure these are albizia, but in the interest of experimentation, I'll leave some in the ground and see what happens. Both of the two esh_ga mentioned seem to be annuals, so I should have an answer within a few months.

I can get some photos for you too, if you're interested. :)


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RE: Mimosa wish

how interesting.


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RE: Mimosa wish

You know life's against you when you have mimosa seedlings popping up. What could be worse?


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RE: Mimosa wish

I would say that mulberry seedlings are worse. When I try to pull them, they usually break off because they are so strongly rooted.

I do plan on grafting a mulberry in my yard. This is no joke: I picked a spot, cleared the grass, and by the end of the year, there were several seedlings to choose from.


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RE: Mimosa wish

I would say Chinese privet are pretty invasive. I've seen them takeover the entire borderline of a clearing like a wild hedge.

The only bright side is that it is also considered a medicinal TCM herb, that is under modern scientific study now.
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"Privet fruit (ligustrum) is a shrub native to China and eastern Asia, but is now grown ornamentally in the United States. Used for a wide range of conditions, privet fruit is a tonic for the liver and kidneys. It helps to lower liver enzymes, inhibits degeneration and reduces necrosis of liver cells. It raises the white blood cell count, and can rapidly reduce jaundice.

Privet fruit has gained a reputation as a powerful immune enhancing herb. In a study done in the United States, supported by the National Institutes of Health, privet fruit was found to prevent breakdown of the immune system when cancer patients were given chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Subsequent studies around the world have supported this action. It is now used clinically for this purpose in Japan and China. It is often combined with Lycium fruit or astragalus. The major constituent in privet fruit is ligustrin (oleanolic acid).

Studies in China suggest that privet fruit stimulates the immune system, decreases inflammation and protects the liver. At regular doses, privet fruit has practically no toxicity."
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"The fruits are used as a tonic, and said to invigorate to the yin, brighten the eyes, calm the viscera, and drive out "the hundred diseases" of traditional Chinese medicine. Fruits are added to combination herbal formulas for several disorders, including hepatitis, kidney problems, tinnitis, and vertigo. Chinese practitioners claim that ligustrum has several anti-aging effects -- that it reverses graying hair and restores firmness to the skin and youthfulness to the body."
http://ip.aaas.org/tekindex.nsf/2a9c4e44835b04ea85256a7200577a64/d2e6e7693094a8db85256adb0064b89b/Body/M1?OpenElement
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"Chinese privet has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for over 1,000 years. The fruit is antibacterial, antiseptic, antitumour, cardiotonic, diuretic and tonic. It is taken internally in the treatment of complaints associated with weak kidney and liver energy such as menopausal problems (especially premature menopause), blurred vision, cataracts, tinnitus, rheumatic pains, palpitations, backache and insomnia. Modern research has shown that the plant increases the white blood cell count and is of value when used to prevent bone marrow loss in cancer chemotherapy patients, it also has potential in the treatment of AIDS. Extracts of the plant show antitumour activity. Good results have also been achieved when the fruit has been used in treating respiratory tract infections, hypertension, Parkinson's disease and hepatitis. The fruit is harvested when fully ripe and is dried for later use. It is often decocted with other herbs in the treatment of a wide variety of ailments and also as a general tonic. Some caution is advised in their use, since the fruits are toxic when eaten in quantity. The leaves are anodyne, diaphoretic, febrifuge, pectoral and vulnerary. The bark of the stems is diaphoretic."
http://www.naturalmedicinalherbs.net/herbs/l/ligustrum-lucidum=chinese-privet.php
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"Modern research has shown that the plant increases the white blood cell count and is of value when used to prevent bone marrow loss in cancer chemotherapy patients, it also has potential in the treatment of AIDS. Extracts of the plant show antitumour activity. Good results have also been achieved when the fruit has been used in treating respiratory tract infections, hypertension, Parkinson's disease and hepatitis. The fruit is harvested when fully ripe and is dried for later use. It is often decocted with other herbs in the treatment of a wide variety of ailments and also as a general tonic. Some caution is advised in their use, since the fruits are toxic when eaten in quantity. The leaves are anodyne, diaphoretic, febrifuge, pectoral and vulnerary. The bark of the stems is diaphoretic."
http://www.wilderness-survival.net/forums/showthread.php?13171-Chinese-Privet-Ligustrum-sinense&s=ff7f9b7e5d27b525b6befba68d8d1171&p=242467&viewfull=1#post242467
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It appears that the berries are traditionally dried and then decocted before use. And dosage is limited to avoid toxicity. So, probably not something you'd want to eat raw or in quantity..

Here is a link that might be useful: PRIVET FRUIT - LIGUSTRUM


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RE: Mimosa wish

Funny that you are getting so many from 1/4 mile away when the tree uses bean-like pods of comparatively large (as in not dust-like) seeds to disperse itself.

Might not be from a recent crop of seeds. An Albizia julibrissin seedbank is very long lived; seeds have been known to remain viable in dry storage for nearly 150 years. You can continue to find seedlings where there once was a mimosa or in spots that collected wind-blown pods from elsewhere in the neighborhood for years (decades?) after the trees are gone. Disturbing the soil can activate a dormant bank.


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RE: Mimosa wish

Mimosa are invasive here. I can spot them easily in the late summer when they're in flower.

Much like my idea for dealing with abandoned/devalued properties and sprawl, I agree that if you plant an invasive it is only right you should be signed up for a few hours of community service a week plucking invasives.


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RE: Mimosa wish

If you would rather have two natives instead of the invasive mimosa I would like to send you some. How about some nice Carolina Cherry Laurel and Orange Trumpet Vine? Hey they're native and the birds like them and your neighbors will love you. I also have some Pokeweed if you want that too. . Easy to grow and spread rapidly. I have LOTS in the lot next door just waiting for a new home. Did I mention that they are NATIVE?! Gotta love that!


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