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Also known as Silk Tree. Native to Asia and Africa, Mimosa was introduced into North America as an ornamental in the mid 1700's. It is now naturalized along roadsides, thickets, and woodland borders, westward to Indiana and southward to Florida, Louisiana and parts of California. It should not be planted in areas where it is not already established. Easy to grow, it is tolerant of drought and pollution. The twice-compound leaves look like the leaves of the Sensitive-plant as they curl up on a cool evening. The graceful arching limbs bear flowers with conspicuous showy stamens that resemble large pink powder-puffs. The Chinese name for this tree is He Huan. (Albizzia julibrissin)

Medicinal: According to herbalist Michael Tierra, it is a powerful medicinal plant which is a fast-acting mood-lifter for certain types of depression and anxiety. The Chinese indicate that He Huan enters the heart and liver channels and it has sedating and spirit-calming properties, especially for anyone experiencing a profound heartbreaking loss. Dr. Jim Duke's herbal database cites dosages based on extracts of 9 to 15 gm for the flowers or 9 to 30 gm for the bark. Cautions: contraindicated during pregnancy, when driving, or when using an antidepressant drug.

Growing instructions: Perennial in zones 6b-10. Germination at 60-70 degrees F. Scarify seed with a knife. Germinates in 7 days. Transplant or direct sow. Full sun. Grows 20 to 35 feet tall. Keep 15 to 20 feet apart.

Packet: 0.70g - about 18 seeds