Scientific: Albizia julibrissin
Common: Silk tree or mimosa
Family: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)
Origin: Iran to Japan across Asia, naturalized in southeastern United States and is dangerously invasive in Hawaii

Pronounciation: Al-BEE-zee-a jew-la-BREE-zen

Hardiness zones
USDA 7-11

Landscape Use: This is a tree for summer accent that casts filtered shade. It can be used as a lawn tree, but is best used in areas that can accomodate its spreading growth habit; mesic or oasis landscape design themes in Phoenix are best.

Form & Character: This is a short-lived, deciduous tree with a spreading flat-topped crown, relatively open canopy, sub-tropical.

Growth Habit: Rapid growth to 20 to 30 feet in height with a greater spread. Mimosa has potential to grow to 40 feet or more in non-desert climates. The young branches have prominent whitish lenticels. The wood is brittle.

Foliage/Texture: Alternate, twice pinnately compound leaves, 12 to 18 inches long; medium fine texture.

Flowers & Fruits: White to pink to red pin-cushion flowers derived from protruding stamens, sometimes white to rose red; fruits are a pod to 6 to 8 inches long.

Seasonal Color: Colorful display of prominently displayed flower clusters in late spring to mid summer.

Temperature: Very hardy and heat loving provided the foliage canopy is full and dense.

Light: Full sun, avoid strong western exposures.

Soil: Tolerant

Watering: Prefers regular water, will tolerate some drought.

Pruning: Rigorously train this tree when young to raise the crown to elevate the canopy and establish a strong matrix of scaffold branches. Silk tree is prone to trunk sunscald when crowns are excessively raised and/or thinned.

Propagation: Seed, semi-hardwood cuttings in summer and root cuttings in winter.

Disease and pests: This tree has little to no problems in Phoenix because of the dry climate. In other areas with more humid climates such as the southeastern United States, mimosa wilt and especially web worms are epically common.

Additional comments: Silk tree is a relatively short-lived tree. It produces low density wood that is also brittle; thus, limbs break easily. Its low branching habit can be problematic for some landscape locations. Otherwise it provides a pink accent in late spring to early summer. Its growth habit is more robust in the inland coastal valleys of southern California than in the deserts of California and Arizona. Species name is Persian for silk tree. Landscape selections include 'Charolette' and 'Tryon' (both wilt resistant), 'Alba' (white flowers), variety rosea (flowers bright pink), and 'Summer Chocolate' (rich reddish brown summer foliage).

Invasive alert: Mimosa is an invasive tree in Hawaii. Prolific seed germination and dense colonies from root sprouts are highly problematic in moist, warm temperate and tropical climates.