Friday, August 10, 2012

Import Blog mimosa tree


I got introduced to the beautiful mimosa tree when I moved here to Missouri. We have one by the side of the house near our front pont. I just love it. Has a beautiful smell that does not seem to aggravate my allergies, and I just love it when it blooms. It is blooming right now.
When one of the natural dye blogs on blogger that I read, suggested a must read was the book: The Art and Craft of Natural Dyeing Traditional Recipes for Modern Use by Liles I looked and found it on Amazon books. It is indeed an excellent book with information and recipes that you can really use for natural dyeing. In the Yellow dye chapter I learned that my Mimosa tree gives a beautiful clear yellow if you dry and strip the leaves while in bloom. It suggests I need 4 to 6 ounces of dried material for a dye project. So I was out this morning collecting.
I have no clue really when it dries how much I will need, so I will just dry a bunch of it and then weigh
I thought I would share some information on the mimosa tree

Introduction

Originally from China, Mimosa or Silk tree was introduced to the United States in 1745 and cultivated since the 18th century primarily for use as an ornamental. Mimosa remains a popular ornamental because of its fragrant and showy flowers. Due to its ability to grow and reproduce along roadways and disturbed areas, and its tendency to readily establish after escaping from cultivation, mimosa is considered a Category II invasive by Florida’s Exotic Pest Plant Council.
Description
Mimosa is a deciduous, small to medium-sized tree that can grow 20 to 40 feet tall. It is a member of the legume (Fabaceae) plant family and is capable of fixing nitrogen. 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. The leaf arrangement gives mimosa a fern-like or feathery appearance. Mimosa flowering occurs from May through July. Pom-pomesque flowers are borne in terminal clusters at the base of the current year’s twigs. The flowers are fragrant and pink in color, about 1½ inches long. Fruits are flat and in pods, a characteristic of many legumes. Pods are straw-colored and 6 inches long containing 5 to 10 light brown oval-shaped seeds about ½ inch in length. Pods typically persist on the plant through the winter months.
Mimosa reproduces both vegetatively and by seed. Seeds require scarification in order to germinate. This characteristic allows the seed to remain dormant for many years. Normally seeds are dispersed in close proximity of the parent plant; however, seeds can also be dispersed by water. Wildlife may also contribute to the spread of mimosa through the ingestion and excretion of the seeds. Vegetative reproduction occurs when trees are cut back, causing quick resprouting and regrowth.
from here  http://plants.ifas.ufl.edu/node/29
I also found that it is used in chinese herbal medicine-a really nice article here  http://www.earthclinic.com/Remedies/mimosa.html
I will keep you informed this fall on how my dye project on cotton turns out with mimosa leaves

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