Native to Asia from Iran to Japan, mimosa elicits strong opinions in the South. Those who love it point to its soft, ferny foliage, ease of growth, smooth bark for climbing, and showy summer flowersred, rose, shell-pink, or white powderpuffs that have a light gardenia scent and attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Those who hate mimosa, however, emphasize its susceptibility to webworms and wilt diseases, as well as its weak, brittle branches and invasive roots, its knack for reseeding all over creation, its unattractive appearance in winter, and its relatively short life span.
Mimosa grows rapidly to 40 feet tall with a wider spread. It tolerates drought, pollution, wind, salt spray, and alkaline soil. 'Rosea' has rich pink flowers and is considered more cold hardy than the species. 'Flame' has rosy red flowers; 'California Red' boasts red blossoms. 'Summer Chocolate' features bronze foliage with pink flowers.