Saturday, January 31, 2009

First Signs of Spring

When I see Texas Huisache trees beginning to bloom, I know Spring is right around the corner. Not only is the golden pom-pom pleasing to the eye, the aroma is sweet, sweet, sweet. This small-leafed tree is a member of the mimosa family. It's considered a large shrub or medium tree but my experience leads me to give it lots of room to spread. A word of warning - this is a thorned tree and around my yard the saw bugs LOVE it - thus I feel like I am forever dragging those thorny branches to the brush pile. Huisache is very drought tolerant making it beloved addition to an arid spot in my yard.

Up close, I think the buds are every bit as pretty as the blooms.
Huisache is a Valley native. If you observe a field that has been left fallow for a few years, it seems to be one of the first trees to sprout.
It is an important nesting site for white-wing - guess there's a reason for those thorns. We almost always have a nest in one of our Huisache trees. The day I took these pictures there was a Goldenfinch (American or Lesser, who knows) flitting from blossom to blossom. We've put out two thistle feeders for them - and have not seen a single one feeding there. Guess they're well fed by nature. According to the Native Plant Project, bees are attracted to the pollen of the Huisache tree, not the nectar. I wonder if it's the same for that Goldenfinch.

6 comments:

Vanillalotus said...

Those are some beautiful blooms. I'll have to keep my eye out for the blooms. I must not have been paying attention to my surroundings.

andré said...

Nice to know that there is a spring coming, although we probably have to wait for it a few more weeks (or even months) in Sweden... Nice photos!

Jan said...

I am not familiar with this tree, but you are right, the buds and flowers are lovely. It is so nice to see those first blooms after winter.

Jan
Always Growing

Penny said...

What a pretty tree, and I'm looking for fragrance, which I have only when the dryer is on :) Can those guys tolerate heavy rains? (Like we get in Florida in the summer?) What do they look like when they're not blooming?

Mary Beth said...

VANILLALOTUS - Until I began photographing blooms up close, I missed most of their beauty and intricacy. Some of the tiny, tiny flowers have tons of detail.

ANDRE - Yes, but in July and August when we are melting, you will be enjoying your moderate summer.

JAN - I do think we appreciate the first blooms of spring most of all!

PENNY - a huisache has tons of frangrance - but is pretty plain when not in bloom AND it doesn't like wet feet.

Michelle said...

I have a wonderful Huisache tree that is right outside my fenced backyard. I love the little yellow pom-poms too!!! You really captured its' beauty in your photographs.

~Michelle
Getting Dirty in Texas