Albizia julibrissin 'Summer Chocolate'

Albizia julibrissin 'Summer Chocolate'

Description: A small spreading tree which is only suited to a very sheltered and protected site in southern UK as may not be fully hardy in the north. A recent introduction of the silk flower which has amazing chocolate coloured bi-pinnate (feathery) leaves on arching stems and if grown in full sun will produce beautiful feathery pink clouds of flowers looking like silk threads in late summer.

Uses: A sheltered site in a courtyard garden or even a large container.

Climate/Position: A sheltered site is essential and full sun required for any possibility of flowering.

Height/Spread: 4 x 3 metres.

Soil Requirements: Very free draining soil to avoid winter wet. Tolerant of drought.

Pruning: No pruning required unless formative pruning to shape a young plant.

Special Requirements: Though once Albizia was grown only as a conservatory plant, it is now possible to grow outdoors in the south of the UK but definitely requires a sheltered spot.

Additional Interest: Introduced to Europe in the mid-18th century by Italian nobleman Filippo del Albizzi it is often confused with the mimosa (acacia). Many common names from its wide ranging native habitat add to confusion and include nemu which is a derivation of Japanese nemunoki or sleep tree referring to its leaves which fold up in the evening.