The Mimosa in Mandelieu-La Napoule
The history of the Mimosa in Mandelieu-La Napoule
Originating in Australia, mimosa was introduced to Europe in the middle of the 19th century during one of Captain Cook's voyages. It thrived on the Côte d'Azur due to the warm climate and the siliceous soil. Planted in 1880 in the Croix des Gardes on the properties of the great winter hosts, such as the Duke of Vallombrosa, the Marquis de Morès and Lord Brougham, it considerably contributed to the development of the cosmetics industry in Grasse. It is also widespread in its wild state throughout the region.
The Horticultural and of Acclimation Society widely contributed to its promotion. The 'mimosistes' (mimosa growers) multiplied in the region, in Mandelieu, Pégomas, Tanneron and La Roquette. Markets developed and wagons full of mimosa left La Napoule station every day for the north of France and abroad.
Having thus participated in the development of the local economy, mimosa is celebrated every year by the inhabitants of Mandelieu-la Napoule. Officially celebrated for the first time in 1931, the Mimosa Festival has since been a great success. It has continued to grow, expanding from a floral float to a now widely recognised large popular festival.
According to tradition, the festival's organisation is entrusted to the inhabitants of the municipality, with its associations and its Entertainment Committee. Together, in a good humour, they cover the floats with freshly picked mimosas. Meticulous work to braid the branches around the subjects made each year according to the chosen theme. The good will of everyone involved gives the festival an authentic traditional ambience noticed by all its visitors.
The latest edition of the Mimosa Festival welcomed over 60,000 visitors to all the sites of the event (city centre, the sea front, districts of the city).
The media and economic impact engendered by all the editions of the Mimosa Festival now enables the event to be ranked among the major winter events on the Côte d’Azur, such as the Nice Carnival and the Menton Lemon Festival.
The Mimosa Festival in Mandelieu-La Napoule exclusively uses mimosa cultivated in the local forcing houses. Therefore the 12 tonnes of mimosa used each year to decorate the floats with flowers and for the flower fights are purchased from the producers from the Tanneron massif, otherwise known as the largest mimosa forest in Europe.
The Festival, while preserving its popular and folk aspect, therefore helps to supporting the businesses of the local mimosa growers. In addition, some mimosa growers are now turning towards tourism and exhibiting their craft to the visitors who come to see them.
Information on Mimosa:
Out of a national production of 18 million mimosa stems, 11 million are produced in the Alpes-Maritimes region and 6 million in the municipalities of Mandelieu La Napoule and Pégomas.
The forcing technique and the secret of the Chrysal powder have enabled us to control flowering and ship the mimosa all over the world. To be explored with the mimosa growers during your visit.
For nature lovers:
- The Mimosa belongs to the Acacia family.
- There are several kinds: shrubs or trees that can grow to over 10 m in height.
- The Mimosa blooms between November and March, but the one called the "four seasons" blooms several times a year.
- The most beautiful varieties are the Acacia deabalta hybrids «Le Gaulois», a small shrub 4 to 6 m high with a magnificent bloom.