By Lynn Kirkland
Our beautiful silk trees, also known as mimosa trees are in full bloom
and creating much needed shade in the café gardens at the herb farm.
It is just as well this herbal tree is drought tolerant as at the time of writing it is well over a month since we had any rain.
Albizia julibrissin, Persian silk tree or Mimosa is also called he-huan-pi in Chinese. This refers to its use in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as a plant extract to enliven the spirit.
The bark and the flowers are used in TCM and the bark is harvested during spring, summer and autumn by removing lateral branches and removing the bark which is then cleaned and dried ready to make preparations.
The flower buds are harvested on a sunny day.
I have had no personal experience of using this tree and I would suggest you enjoy it as a gorgeous fragrant addition to your garden rather than try making anything from it.
It is a tree native to Asia and Africa however is now widely spread around the world.
Out here in the country I find the possums are using our large silk tree as a nocturnal haunt.
Earlier on the possums caused severe damage to two of our ginkgo trees. These are herbal trees used to treat circulation to the brain and now that they have moved on to a tree for enlivening the spirit I am wondering what they may set their sights on next. Hopefully the trap set beside the tree!
As you can see from the photo the silk tree is also a beautiful addition to the garden to attract butterflies as well as bees.