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Happy Tree (Mimosa)

The Mimosa tree, also known as the Silk tree, has a rich history dating back to ancient times. It is believed to have originated in Asia and was introduced to the Mediterranean region and Europe around 400 AD. The tree was highly valued for its beautiful flowers and was commonly used in ornamental gardens. In the 18th century, the Mimosa tree was brought to North America, where it quickly became popular for its ability to adapt to a wide range of soils and climates. Today, it is a common sight in many parts of the world, admired for its delicate pink flowers and graceful form. Despite its popularity, the Mimosa tree has been known to be invasive in some regions, leading to efforts to control its spread.

On our property, we have several around the property. There are a couple of them that are probably more than 30 years old, and many that are only a few years old. The flowers tend to bloom on the top side of the branches, so when the tree grow too high it makes it nearly impossible to harvest the flowers. They are easy enough to trim to grow low to the ground, however, and it makes me much easier to collect the seed pods once they are ready for harvesting as well.

How do I use parts of this tree? There are several ways!

The bark has long been used for tea. The Chinese refer to this tree as the “Happy Tree”. The bark has been used for centuries to support a healthy stress response and a happy mood.

It can be taken from newer branches that you trim from the tree. This is the best way to harvest the bark, as peeling it from established branches will likely kill those branches in a short amount of time.

The flowers can also be harvested and used in a few different ways. Both bark and flowers can be used for tea. You’ll notice that when you used the flowers for tea, the water will first turn green and then to a pinkish color. Once it is pink , it’s ready to be used! If you’d like to share a fun bit of science with your kids, a fun experiment to do is to make some tea and then add in a little bit of Lemon juice. The tea will turn from pale pink to a bright pink due to a chemical reaction!

Another great way to use Mimosa is to make jelly. I’ll share the recipe at a later time, but it is very simple and tasty. It has a hint of floral after-taste, making it lovely on biscuits or toast.

Tinctures and Glycerites are also a wonderful way to preserve the goodness of this Happy Tree. Whatever way you use this tree’s goodness, it’s lovely to behold in bloom.

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