Monday, June 29, 2009

Albizia julibrissin 'Summer Chocolate' , Silktree or Mimosa

Pink powderpuff flowers that attract hummingbirds, finely dissected compound leaves, and the classic form of a small savannah tree: pretty much everybody knows this plant as Mimosa, though of course it isn't a Mimosa. Here in the Washington DC area, we're about at its northern limits though in theory it's a USDA Zone 6 plant. As you go north you see very few specimens; as you go south, this time of year, you see gazillions of them. Whole interstate exchanges are populated by Mimosas. They seed prolifically and might take over the south if it weren't for a vascular fungus that eventually dooms any individual tree.

This cultivar has reddish/brownish leaves hence the name. I have always liked Mimosas for, well I like everything about them, but have never felt as though they were plants that needed purchasing. Like Redbuds, seedlings are abundant around a mature specimen. They're easily distinguished by their feathery leaves, easily transplanted, and grow as fast as any tree, 2,3,4 feet a year. The only problem is that this cultivar, 'Summer Chocolate' is really really nice, but you have to buy it to get it.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Chris,
regarding the `Summer Chocolate`
you wrote: "you have to buy it if you want it"...I read some months ago
that seeds from this tree will come up purple, too - not all, but some.
Well, we only have Albizia julibrissin `Rosea`and Èrnest Wilson`into our german garden, so we´re looking for getting seeds of this purple variety. A friend in New Mexico was looking for some seeds, but without success. Do you know an adress in U.S.?
Regards, Bruno from germany

László said...

Hallo,
Albizia julibrissin Sommerschokolade magvak.
Wenn Sie den Samen zurückweisen, wird eine Akazie mit einem grünen Laub von ihm sein.
In vitro wird es multipliziert. Von einem Samen, der nicht würdig ist zu proben.

Julibrissin
http://www.flickr.com/photos/30569904@N08/page2/