Garden Design Round Table: Sunshine Mimosa, a Lawn Alternative for Florida
|Sunshine mimosa makes a great groundcover.|
Mimosa takes moderate foot traffic and it lives up to its other common name, the sensitive plant, because the leaves fold up when touched.
Members of the bean family, the legumes, have the ability to work with Rhizobium bateria in their roots to capture nitrogren from the air and turn it into useable fertilizer for the plants. In soil where other legumes such as clover the bacteria will already be in the soil, but if you plant it on a sterile subsoil, it will take several months to a year before nitrogen-fixing root nodules will form.
|This mimosa plant is starting to spread. You can let it go|
it's own way or you can trim back the runners and root
them to make new plants.
It's best to start sunshine mimosa with plants spaced out over the area where you want to populate. You can also start mimosa with seeds, but they take a long time to sprout and to become established as I related when I wrote about a meadow project in St. Augustine, FL.
"To increase the germination rate, the volunteers covered part of the meadow with black plastic for six weeks before sowing the seeds to kill off the competition. Now they have a good stand of this wonderful native groundcover..." where it plays well with other Florida natives.
|Mimosa in a meadow with scarlet sage & tickseed coreopsis.|
This meadow is mowed once a year and receives no fertilization or irrigation above the normal 50" annual rainfall.
See more details on this meadow see my article onThe Lawn Reform Coalition: A St. Augustine Meadow Project.
The Florida Association of Native Nurseries (FANN) provides a list of their members who carry sunshine mimosa.
University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Science (IFAS) article: Native Wildflowers: Mimosa strigillosa
The Atlas of Florida Vascular Plants provides the native range and additional photos for Mimosa strigillosa
|A lovely, easy-to-grow groundcover. Don't you want some?|
Susan Harris : Garden Rant and Gardener Susan’s Blog : Takoma Park, MD
Billy Goodnick : Cool Green Gardens : Santa Barbara, CA
Evelyn Hadden : Lawn Reform.Org : Saint Paul, MN
Saxon Holt : Gardening Gone Wild : Novato, CA
Susan Morrison : Blue Planet Garden Blog : East Bay, CA
Shirley Bovshow : Eden Makers : Los Angeles, CA
Scott Hokunson : Blue Heron Landscapes : Granby, CT
Rochelle Greayer : Studio G : Boston, MA
Rebecca Sweet : Gossip In The Garden : Los Altos, CA
Pam Penick : Digging : Austin, TX
Lesley Hegarty & Robert Webber : Hegarty Webber Partnership : Bristol, UK
Laura Livengood Schaub : Interleafings : San Jose, CA
Jocelyn Chilvers : The Art Garden : Denver, CO
Ivette Soler : The Germinatrix : Los Angeles, CA
Genevieve Schmidt : North Coast Gardening : Arcata, CA
Douglas Owens-Pike : Energyscapes : Minneapolis, MN
Debbie Roberts : A Garden of Possibilities : Stamford, CT
Tara Dillard : Vanishing Threshold: Garden, Life, Home : Atlanta, GA
Sunshine Mimosa for the Sunshine State!