Mimosa…a splash of yellow in your garden

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Mimosas - Flickr Eric Hunt

When I’ve been visiting New Covent Garden Flower Market in London recently, I’ve noticed lots of frothy mimosa gracing the traders’ stands. The Latin name for the florist’s mimosa is Acacia dealbata, which is also known as silver wattle or blue wattle.

Mimosa, Flickr Traveller 40

I love their scented yellow flowers. They look like little pompoms. It’s masses of stamens which give them their fluffy appearance. Throughout the spring, Acacias in your garden provide an abundant display of blossom, often a brilliant golden yellow. And the nectar-rich blooms provide a valuable source of food for bees and other insects.

Mimosa, Flickr TommyHAGA

Acacia is a very large genus of mainly small to medium-sized trees and shrubs found in many tropical and warm temperate regions, but especially Australia and Africa. In mild parts of the UK, Acacia dealbata plants can be grown outdoors.  However, in frost prone areas, it’s best to grow them in containers and move them to a frost-free place in the winter.

Mimosa, Flickr supercoco

They generally require full sun and well-drained soil. Be aware that most acacias don’t take too kindly to excessive pruning as this causes gum exudation and can also open the way for insect and fungal attack.

Mimosa, Flickr Inklaar

Sarah Raven stocks Acacia baileyana 'Songlines'.  It’s a new form of mimosa with the lovely purple-tinged foliage of the baileyana types and it has highly scented flowers. Did you know that in the language of flowers, mimosa means sensitivity and modesty?

(Images : Flickr : Eric Hunt/Traveller_40/TommyHAGA/supercoco__/Inklaar)

Thanks for reading!