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Albizia julibrissin

albizia julibrissinName: Albizia julibrissin

Family: Leguminosae Hardiness: 10F (-12F)

Common Names: Persian silk tree; Mimosa Tree; Constantinople acacia

Blooms: Summer

Origin: Southern Asia

The silk tree, Albizia julibrissin with its soft pink puffs of blooms set off by apple-green fernlike foliage, is a harbinger of summer.  The tree grows to 40 feet (12 m) often with multiple trunks that must be pruned if a single trunk is desired. Its somewhat flat topped shape with horizontal spreading branches provides an inviting canopy of shade in summer and its deciduous nature permits maximum sun during winter.  The tropical appearance of this beautiful tree, its graceful form, and the delicate pink glow of the blossoms make it a worthwhile addition to the landscape as a free standing specimen or a background accent. Selections are available with deep pink tones to the flowers.  In hot, humid areas the tree is subject to mimosa wilt but wilt-resistant types have been selected.  Silk tree is widely cultivated, not only in warm temperate but in subtropical areas throughout the world, needing only a sunny location.

Plume albizia, A. distachya (A. lophantha), with  greenish-white spikes is occasionally seen in cultivation.  Woman's tongue, , a medium to large-sized tree from North Africa to northern Australia, A. lebbeckith cream to greenish-yellow pompons of fragrant flowers is cultivated in warmer areas.  The pods rattle in the wind to give the tree its common name.  It is a fast growing, drought resistant, semideciduous tree used as coffee shade in India.

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