Silk Tree, Mimosa
- Deciduous tree, 20-30 ft (6-9 m), fast growing, spreading crown, does not leaf
out until very late in spring (Don't be too quick cut down the "dead" tree in spring.) Leaves alternate, large, up to 50 cm long, bipinnately compound, many oblong leaflets, each only 6-12 mm long. Pink pin-cushion flowers, pods appear in fall and persist into winter. No fall color, leaves stay green until killed by frost.
- Sun, transplants readily, very adaptable, withstands drought, high pH, soil salinity and wind. Performs best in areas of high summer heat. It is very susceptible to a vascular wilt disease caused by Fusarium, a disorder that is wide spread in the southern US.
- Hardy to USDA Zone 6 Native range from Iran to central
China. It was introduced into the U.S. in 1785, or earlier, and became a popular landscape tree. It "escaped" from cultivation and is now naturalized from New Jersey to Louisiana and in California. (See http://www.nps.gov/plants/alien/fact/alju1.htm)
- Several cultivar available, including one called Summer Chocolate which has dark red leaves that turn reddish-bronze or brown.
- Albizia: after Filipppo degli Albizzia, a Florentine nobleman who introduced this genus to cultivation in Tuscany.
julibrissin: derived from the Persian gul-ebruschin, meaning soft silken treads, a reference to the flowers.
- Oregon State Univ. campus: south side of Milam Hall, near east entrance; west of Strand Ag. Hall.