29 responses to “Albizia julibrissin”

  1. Wendy Cutler

    I LOVE that second photo. It’s beautiful, and it also shows the pulvini.
    I can’t tell if these are current photos – they are in bloom now.

    1. Trella Hastings

      Just amazing! A work of art, any way you look at it! I guess this is a tree we will never see in this part of the world!

      1. Wendy Cutler

        Not so, Trella. There are several of them in Vancouver – that’s what I meant when I said they are in bloom now – I’ve been seeing them. Arthur Lee Jacobson, in Trees of Seattle (2nd Edition, 2006) lists several locations in Seattle.

        1. Trella Hastings

          Thanks Wendy! I’ll have to check that out. Maybe the library will have it. Nice to see you on Saturday at Samish Island!

  2. Les Plush

    Albizia julibrissin grows very well around Northern California. Often it is called mimosa or silk tree. There are several right now in full bloom around my neighborhood at 2500 feet above sea level. Because of heavy rainfall this last season, the trees are heavy with blossoms.

  3. Kathy Peterson

    These photos always lift my spirits. Thanks for this site.

  4. Elizabeth Revell

    Can we have info on the origin of the species name?

  5. megan esler

    Elizabeth, Just click on the link and it will take you to a Wikipedia article and a full description of the species name.

  6. Richard Windsor

    Potentially invasive in Australia, however we have a native borer which loves it so it’s a real battle to keep one in good shape for more than a few years. (Canberra, Zone 9b) I’ve never seen one taller than 5 metres.

  7. JOan Skeet

    What zones does this grow in? I have seen them in Victoria. Would they grow in the Okanagan. Do they sucker or seed?

    1. Jessica Katz

      When I was a kid, we had a beautiful Mimosa tree in our backyard…Brooklyn, New York…Zone 7b. It gave an exotic, tropical feel to the garden. It was lightly, sweetly fragrant and beloved by local butterflies. The only downsides were that it was a little messy when it shed its crown of gorgeous flowers and, again, when it dropped its seed pods. It did self-seed widely. Seedlings would pop up in neighboring yards and could lay dormant for years and then spring to life, if turned over in the soil.

      I can see where it has the potential for being weedy or invasive. But, it was sooooo beautiful, and watching butterflies fluttering among the pink, spidery flowers is certainly is one of my fondest childhood memories. It was also delightful to see how the leaves opened and closed. Overall, a wonderful tree if it’s in t right place.

  8. john weagle

    There are a few trees here in the milder parts of Nova Scotia, most are seedlings that can be traced back to the hardiest form, A. julibrissin v. rosea ‘Ernest Wilson’. We have to grow it in very well-drained sites, sterile soil, no fertilizer and no supplemental watering otherwise they will grow a meter or two in every direction and then fail to fully harden off properly in our wet autumns.

    Quite a number of them on the Niagara peninsula of Ontario including this exquisite red one.

  9. Bonnie

    I have that tree in my back yard and it is a rather large tree. This year it seems like the pods have come early. Perhaps I just don’t remember. My husband does not like the tree, says it is messy. And as you say it really isn’t accepted by those in the know. lol

  10. Robert Meyers

    In coastal southeast Georgia, U.S., my grandmother called these “shrimp tree” because they blossom in June when the shrimping season begins. They cultivate the areas at the edge of the salt marshes. In the Washington, D.C., they are known as mimosa and are considered invasive.


    Considered a highly invasive tree in S. Md. Escapes into the landscape and displaces natives. Some folks love them and plant them in their yards. They are lovely to look at.

  12. Ann Pearson

    I’m grateful for the explanation of ‘night closure’ as there’s a beautiful specimen in a garden near me (West Point Grey, Vancouver) that I thought had been weakened by this past winter but now I realize it had sensibly put its leaves to bed to wait for better weather. Must take a look to see whether it’s in bloom yet.

  13. Lee Foote

    They are common in central Louisiana and a major attractant for hummingbirds foraging on flower ectar. They can attain impressive size too- 30″ DBH and great spreading crowns. The tiny leaflets on the pinnate rachis fall separately and are hard to rake.

    1. Stephen Lamphear

      Those tiny leaflets are another of the positive attributes. Like the leaflets of Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides), they just disappear into the surroundings.

  14. lynn

    A lovely tree, at least when in bloom and in leaf – that second photo is fantastic.

  15. Pat Collins

    Curiously, the Wikipedia article neglects to mention the use of the flowers and bark of this tree in Chinese medicine though Wikipedia have it in the Category of “Plants used in traditional Chinese medicine”.

    The flowers were recorded to have been used medicinally in 1116 CE with the bark described in a book possibly written before 220 CE. 合欢, hé huān apparently means “conjoined or closed happiness”. Because of the nyctinasty described above (“the most common nasties” according to the 1936 quote in the OED) the plant is also called 夜合 yè hé meaning “night closed” or 夜合欢 yè hé huān “night closed happiness”. Among other medicinal uses both bark hé huān pí and flower hé huān huā were used to gently change the patient’s mood, calming the spirit or creating joy. In the provinces of Hubei and Zhejiang an alternative species is also used, Albizia kalkora (Roxb.) Prain, 山合欢 shān hé huān, meaning “mountain closed happiness”.

    I checked that info with Dan Bensky et al’s “Chinese Herbal Medicine Materia Medica”, a very comprehensive work.

  16. Trella Hastings

    I enjoyed all the interesting comments that have come in on this tree!

  17. Rachel M

    These are pretty common Istanbul. They are stunning in bloom in the summer, a refreshingly delicate sight in the midst of the city. I take an unnecessary amount pictures just about every time I see one, but hadnt gotten to trying to identify it. Glad to know they are native to these parts too.

  18. Carol Ross

    Even when I first receive my botany of the day and even open it just minutes after it arrives in my inbox, there are already many comments from folks who have already seen it. How is this possible?

  19. Partelow Hogeweide

    I am growing three silk trees here in Osoyoos BC. They were started from seed this past winter and are now planted out and are thriving in our summer heat. I would like to know if anyone has been successful with this tree in the BC interior. I am aware of the tree in Kasugai Gardens in Kelowna and wonder if is still doing well.

  20. Elaine Schmerling

    The silk or Mimosa tree is highly invasive in North America! Don’t plant it unless you live in its natural range. It (and other invasive trees) are displacing many of our native trees and shrubs which wildlife need to survive.

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