The wood commonly known as Mimosa, or Persian Silk Tree, is known to botanists as Albizia julibrissin. Although widely planted as an ornamental tree around the world, A. julibrissin is believed to be native to southwestern Asia and East Asia. It was first reported and brought back to Europe by travelers to Persia, what is today Iran, but it was also known in Japan and China.
My piece of A. julibrissin was sourced from Florida. Although a common landscape tree, A. julibrissin tends to be short lived and I would imagine my piece came from an ornamental specimen that was removed.
A. julibrissin is considered invasive in many parts of the country. It propagates easily from seeds that can cover amazingly long distances on the wind in their pods, which tend to open during windy conditions.
For the sake of simplicity and common understanding I will hereafter refer to A. julibrissin as Mimosa.
The color of the Mimosa heartwood varies from light brown to deeper golden or reddish brown. The sapwood of the Mimosa is pale yellow and is demarcated from the heartwood. The color darkens with age.
Mimosa has a coarse somewhat uneven texture with good natural luster.
There are no data available about Mimosa’s ability to resist rot or insects.
As Mimosa is not generally traded commercially there are no standard reports about its working characteristics but I will report my own experiences at the end of this post.
It is reported that Mimosa has no distinctive scent when cut or worked.
Pricing and Availability:
As noted above, Mimosa is not typically harvested commercially for lumber. Pieces of Mimosa are occasionally available for sale from hobbyist or small custom sawmills. Prices should be in the mid to upper range for a domestic hardwood.
In this blog, I almost always recommend several vendors with whom I have done considerable business and in whom I have great confidence. These vendors are: West Penn Hardwoods, Bell Forest Products, NCWood, WoodTurningz, Amazon Exotic Hardwoods, Griffin Exotic Wood, Exotic Woods USA, Got Wood?, and Wood Turning Blanks 4U. Note: ALWAYS green turn wet blanks from NCWood as their wax will not hold for extended drying periods.
None of these fine vendors is currently offering Mimosa, but Wood Turning Blanks 4U has offered Mimosa in the past and may do so again. This vendor was the source of my piece.
Woodfinder is an excellent website that is dedicated to advertising wood dealers. In your search for Mimosa, this can be an invaluable resource provided you use multiple search terms to capture all the possible listings. I can’t speak to the quality of any of the listed dealers, but Woodfinder does have the advantage of allowing searches to be performed based on location which might allow an interested buyer to visit a listed wood dealer in person to hand pick pieces at a comfortable price.
A significant problem with using Woodfinder is that many vendors are listed for woods that, upon further investigation, they do not offer. I don’t know if perhaps once they did and they didn’t update their listings or if some vendors use a standardized list of woods that include most everything conceivable with the idea that once you land on their page you will find something you want to buy even if you didn’t know it beforehand. It happens to me all the time!
When used for wood working, Mimosa is known for small turned items and some furniture.
Mimosa is not listed as being endangered by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Appendices nor does it appear on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.