Sickle Bush Bonsai Tree, scientific name Dichrostachys cinerea, is native mostly to Africa and parts of Southeast Asia. It produces attractive fragrant flowers all year round.
Pink and yellow blooms resemble precious earrings hanging from a tree, hence one of the common names Princess Earrings. It bears edible fruits and seeds. It is a drought tolerant, low maintenance tree that is great for indoors.
Scientific name: Dichrostachys cinerea, Dichrostachys glomerata, Dichrostachys platycarpa, Mimosa nutans, Mimosa glomerata, Cailliea dichrostachys, Dichrostachys arborea, Mimosa cinerea, Dichrostachys nutans.
Common Names: Bell Mimosa, Chinese Lantern Tree, Kalahari Christmas Tree, Princess Earrings, Sickle Bush, Sickle Pod, Marabou Thorn.
Origin: Native mostly to Africa and parts of Southeast Asia. It occurs in Madagascar, India, Indonesia and Australia.
Appearance: It is a deciduous thorny shrub with think rough bark that is grey-brown, very fibrous with vertically fissured.Leaves are bipinnate with 4 to 19 pairs of pinnae and each pinna with 9 to 41 pairs of leaflets.
Flowering: It produces very interesting bottle-brush like flowers almost all year round. They are fragrant and bi-coloured. The flowers are reddish pink in the upper part and yellowish closer to the tip of the spike.
They are born pink but turn white the next day. They resemble earrings hanging from a tree, hence one of the common names Princess Earrings. Blooms are followed by dark brown, tightly coiled pods that grow in distinctive curled clusters. Fruits and seeds are edible and flowers be a valuable source of honey.
Outdoor/Indoor Use: Both.
Light Requirements: Needs full sun for maximum blooming.
Water Requirements: It is drought tolerant and does not require a lot of water. Allow the soil to dry between watering. Make sure to use fast draining soil.
Hardiness: Grows best in the USDA Zones 9-10.
Insects and Diseases: Generally healthy plant. Might get root rot if the water drainage is poor.
Propagation: By seeds, cuttings, root suckering.