Albizia julibrissin
Common name: 
Silk Tree
al-BIZ-ee-a ju-li-BRIS-in
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Broadleaf, 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. No fall color, leaves stay green until killed by frost. Showy pin-cushion-like flower clusters, 3.5 cm wide with 2 cm long pink statmens. Fruit a flat, thin pod, 5-7 × 1 inches (13-18 × 2.5 cm), often somewhat curled, green then brown, persist into winter.
  • 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
  • Several cultivar available, including one called ‘Summer Chocolate’ which has dark red leaves that turn reddish-bronze or brown.
  • Albizia: after Filippo degli Albizzi, 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.
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit, late spring (slow to leaf out)

    plant habit, late spring (slow to leaf out)

  • plant habit, summer

    plant habit, summer

  • leaf


  • leaflets


  • leaf, comparison

    leaf, comparison

  • plant habit, flowering

    plant habit, flowering

  • plant habit, flowering

    plant habit, flowering

  • branches and flowers

    branches and flowers

  • opening flower cluster

    opening flower cluster

  • flowers


  • fruit development

    fruit development

  • leaf, comparison, fall

    leaf, comparison, fall

  • fruit, fall

    fruit, fall

  • fruit, winter

    fruit, winter

  • winter twigs and buds

    winter twigs and buds

  • plant habit, winter

    plant habit, winter

  • trunk, bark

    trunk, bark