Thursday, August 26, 2010


Thanks to Cindy at My Corner of Katy for starting the Three for Thursday format. She's on my favorites list, so please go take a look. :-)
The mimosa tree (Albizia julibrissin) has some fantastic foliage. We had some on our farm growing up in the 60s and it's been in America since 1745. It's considered invasive in parts of Texas, so I probably would recommend Desert Willow (Chilopsis linearis) instead. It's really not a very common tree here in Houston. I can think of only 10 or so trees in my part of town. Leaf girdlers and a fusarium wilt make it very short-lived.
I wish we could grow Jacarandas here, but only a few survived the last freeze.
This is the Chinese Rain Tree (Koelreuteria elegans). There are 2 other Koelreuteria species commonly grown in the U.S. This one is the least cold hardy and least common. A freeze in 1983 and 1989 almost wiped them all out. Some people find them too aggressive. In my yard, 3 or 4 have voluntarily come up over the past 5 years. Compare that to the thousands of tree legustrum seedlings I have every year! Not bad.
I love them since I can't grow tree ferns anymore. These are best grown as an understory tree.
Check with a local urban forester to see if they are troublesome in your climate before you plant one.
Ours are kept in check by dry conditions and cold.

This is the pygmy date palm (Phoenix roebelenii). I lost all of mine in last year's freeze. It is
not nearly as cold hardy as some say. I'd say at 28 and below, cover it!
So why did I get some more? Because mine were about 7 feet tall and gorgeous when they died.
They are really beautiful shade tolerant palms and one of the few that have smaller trunks.
Some of the older ones survived down to 21 in parts of Houston, so they do become stronger as they age.
They look best grown in sets of three.


  1. All are such beautiful trees. Pygmy date palms are very popular here. I do love Desert Willow and have 4 in my garden :-)

  2. David, I didn't know Desert Willows had any issues. I'll keep an eye on mine. I dug it up earlier this year and transplanted the larger part of it into a pot. A smaller trunk with roots went into another spot of the garden. Both are doing well, which makes me happy right now because the hummingbirds love them!


I always appreciate your comments & questions! Happy Gardening from David/ Tropical Texana

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