Albizia julibrissin is also known as the Acacia julibrissin, Pink Siris, Silk Tree. In Japan they call it Nemunoki, Nemurinoki and Nenenoki or Nemu Tree. Other names include Persian Silk Tree, Lenkoran Acacia, Chinese Silk Tree or Mimosa, The Pink Silk Tree or the Bastard Tamarind. The new Persian name is Shabkhosb شبخسب. It is part of the Fabaceae family of plants.
Albizia julibrissin is native to Iran, stretching east to China and Taiwan. The name Julibrissin was taken from Persian. Gul-i-abrisham گل ابریشم means silk flower. In Iran, it is known as the Silk Tree.
Albizia is named after Filippo degli Albizzi, an Italian nobleman. He first discovered the tree. The plant was first published in 1772, by Antonio Durazzini (1740-1810), an Italian botanist who was part of the Botanic Academy of Florence.
Albizia julibrissin is a deciduous tree. It grows to 16m or 52ft. It has a broad crown. It has arching branches that provide some shade. The leaves react to touch. They close up at night or when it rains.
The foliage is bipinnate. The leaflets are oblong. Albizia julibrissin flowers in the summer. The flowers are fragrant. Albizia julibrissin flowers have a small calyx. But they have a large cluster of stamens. The stamens are about 3cm or 1.5in long. They are pink or white.
Albizia julibrissin stamens resemble threads of silk and therefore the common name, Silk Tree. The flowers attract hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies. Albizia julibrissin flowres are a good source of nectar. After flowering, it produces flat brown pods of seeds. The pods are about 20cm or 8in long.
How to grow Albizia julibrissin:
Grow Albizia julibrissin in the sun. Plant it in well-drained soil. Propagate Albizia julibrissin by seed (soften seeds in hot water before sowing). You can also propagate by semi-ripe cuttings in summer. It is generally pest-free. Watch out for verticillium wilt.