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Zones 4-23, 26-33
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Moderate

Albizia julibrissin ‘Rosea’

Silk Tree, Mimosa
Fabaceae (Leguminosae)
Deciduous, Trees

ALBIZIA

These trees have twice-divided, finely textured foliage and powder-puff flowers that are attractive to birds. They leaf out very late in spring, and tend to brittleness when weighed down by heavy snow.

Albizia julibrissin
Albizia julibrissin

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Albizia julibrissin

Native to Asia, ranging from Iran to Japan. Rapid growth to 40 ft., with a canopy eventually spreading to as much as twice the tree’s height. Can be cut back to make a 10–20-ft.-tall umbrella. Ferny, pale yellowish green leaves are light sensitive and fold at night. Fluffy pink flowers are like pincushions and bloom in summer. Leafs out late, breaks easily in wet snow.

Silk tree does best with high summer heat. In Zones 4 and 5, choose the warmest locations possible. With regular water, it grows fast; given skimpy moisture, it usually survives but grows slowly and looks yellowish.

Unique flat-topped, spreading canopy makes this a good patio tree, despite fallen leaves, flowers, and pods. Because of undulating form and flowers held above the foliage, it’s especially beautiful when viewed from above, as from a deck or hilltop. Most attractive if allowed to assume its natural habit, as a multistemmed tree. Somewhat of a problem to get started as a high-headed tree: it must be staked and trained (any buds too low on the trunk should be rubbed out with the thumb). You’ll have best success with trees planted from containers established at least 1 year.

Can naturalize in the wild, as it’s done in the Southeast, California’s Central Valley, and Oregon’s Rogue River valley.

‘Rosea’

Has richer pink flowers and is considered hardier than the species.

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Albizia julibrissin

Native to Asia, ranging from Iran to Japan. Rapid growth to 40 ft., with a canopy eventually spreading...

Albizia julibrissin ‘Rosea’

Has richer pink flowers and is considered hardier than the species.

Albizia julibrissin ‘Bourbri’ (‘Ombrella’)

Bears hot pink blooms.

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