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ALBIZIA julibrissin

Image of Albizia julibrissin

Gerald L. Klingaman

Family

Fabaceae

Botanical Name

ALBIZIA julibrissin

Plant Common Name

Persian Silktree, Pink Siris, Silky Mimosa

General Description

Though pretty, Persian silktree is weak, fast-growing, invasive and short-lived. It is a small to medium-sized, hardy, deciduous tree native to central and eastern Asia, which has become naturalized in temperate regions globally. In the United States it has become naturalized in areas from California to New York.

Pleasing feather leaves line the branches in summer and fold up at night. The compound leaves are comprised of many small, oval, leaflets of bright green. Fragrant, puffy, round flowers of white and rose-pink are produced in summer. These are visually appealing from afar and the main reason gardeners grow silktree. Insects pollinate the blooms and flattened, tan seed pods filled with seed follow. The small seeds germinate readily.

Like most invasive species, this tree is quite adaptable. It grows best in full sun and most soils with average to good drainage. It’s hollow branches are so brittle that even thicker ones can be snapped in half by hand. Wind and snow storms are equally damaging. Silktree grows quickly and develops a dome-like canopy that offers dappled shade below. Landscape specimens can be severely pruned annually to maintain a shrubby form.

Persian silktree is listed as a noxious invasive in many regions, including many cool subtropical and warm temperate areas. Investigate locally to see if growing this species is prohibited.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 6

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    6 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23

  • Plant Type

    Tree

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    20'-40' / 6.1m - 12.2m

  • Width

    25'-55' / 7.6m - 16.8m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer

  • Native To

    Central Asia, Eastern Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Salt, Soil Compaction

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Arching/Fountain-shaped

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Pink, Light Pink

  • Flower Color Modifier

    Bicolor

  • Fruit Color

    Brown

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Lime Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Yellow Green, Tan

  • Bark Color

    Sandy Brown, Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Mixed Border, Shade Trees

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Yes

  • Attracts

    Hummingbirds, Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes