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FLIP: Florida Invasive Plants

Albizia julibrissin

Common Name(s): Silktree, mimosa

Origin

Warm temperate to tropical Asia.

Ecological Impact

Naturalized across a variety of habitats in Florida, including pine flatwoods, sandhills, scrub, prairies, hardwood hammocks, dunes, and along freshwater springs and rivers. Invades riparian areas in southern forests of the United States, causing the exclusion of native understory and hardwood species. Silktree is a strong competitor in open areas or forest edges due to its ability to grow in various soil types, ability to produce large amounts of seed, and its ability to resprout when cut back or damaged. Silktree is listed as a Category I invasive by the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council.

Description

Silktree is a deciduous, small to medium-sized tree that can grow 20 to 40 feet tall. The bark is light brown and smooth while young stems are lime green in color, turning light brown and covered with lenticels. Leaves are alternately arranged and bipinnately compound (6 to 20 inches long), having 20 to 60 leaflets per branch..

Identification Tips

The leaf arrangement gives silktree a fern-like or feathery appearance. Flowering occurs from May through July. The fragrant pink powder-puff like flowers are about 1½ inches long..

History

Originally from China, silktree was introduced to the United States in 1745 and cultivated since the 18th century primarily for use as an ornamental.

Range

Throughout northern, central, and southwest Florida.

Management Strategies

Do not plant. Remove before seeds are produced. Take care not to spread seeds. Cut tree down when flowering, then apply herbicide. Immediately, within one minute of cutting tree down, apply a 25% solution of glyphosate or triclopyr and water to the cut stump, making sure to cover the outer 20% of the stump.

Photos

Most photos courtesy of the Atlas of Florida Plants; click for additional plant details.

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Florida Invasive Plants