I was on a 6 week road trip to the west coast, and returned home just in time to find the mimosa trees blooming. I could smell the delicate floral aroma before I saw the small trees filled with flowers bursting from branches like tiny pink sparklers. Reminiscent of fireworks and cotton candy, this invasive plant is a perfect candidate for wildcrafting.
Side Note: Mimosa’s distinct appearance makes it an easy plant to identify, but the MOST IMPORTANT rule in wildcrafting is to have a positive ID before harvesting. If you are unsure, check with someone who is before you gather.
This tree of happiness, to use one of its Chinese common names, is on the North Carolina invasive plant list, which makes it very easy to find someone willing to let you harvest a couple of limbs for flowers and bark. We drove around for about an hour scouting before we found the perfect spot, well away from the road and vibrantly blooming. [Read more…]