Powderpuff Flower

Pink blossoms that look like powderpuffs give Mimosa strigillosa one of its common names. Also known as sensitive plant because its fern-like leaves fold up when touched. Sunshine mimosa is another common name.
“Powderpuff Flower”

Continuing on with my successful native plants, here’s a powderpuff flower. Scientifically known as Mimosa strigillosa, its other common names include sunshine mimosa and sensitive plant. It’s called sensitive plant because when you touch its fern-like leaves, they fold up.

I initially planted it in a hanging bucket because it spreads easily, which is why it’s most often used as a ground cover. It needed water pretty much every day, though, so I transplanted it to a spot in the front yard. Since it actually hasn’t spread at all, I’ve decided that I’m going to harvest a few seeds this year and grow a few more. I love the idea of having a patch of powderpuffs.

Mimosa strigillosa grows natively through much of Florida, almost all of Louisiana, and a handful of counties in Georgia, Mississippi, and Arkansas. It’s also native to Mexico.

If you want to find out more about growing it, the University of Florida’s IFAS extension has an excellent publication about it. (You’ll also find lots of good photos in it, too.)

© 2015 Karen Joslin

Redbud in Bloom

Photo of an Eastern Redbud in bloom
“Redbud in Bloom”

Although spring officially only began last Saturday, here in north Florida it started a few weeks ago. One of the earliest spring bloomers here is the Eastern Redbud (Cersis canadensis), my favorite native tree. An Eastern Redbud all decked out in pink flowers is truly spectacular to behold. Up close, the blossoms look like tiny orchids or irises, as you can see in this photo I took in a neighborhood park. Spanish moss seems to like the redbud, too.

I only wish redbuds bloomed longer. Ours were in full glory just two weeks ago, and all the blossoms have been replaced by new leaves already.

© 2015 Karen Joslin