Silk tree, a deciduous Asian tree, is the hardiest of the mimosas, adding an exotic, almost tropical, touch to cold-climate gardens. It needs to be placed in a well-protected spot when grown toward the northern part of its range.
Description of silk tree: The silk tree is a short, flat-topped tree or tall shrub, growing 20 to 25 feet in height (rarely 35 feet). It is grown for both its fernlike, dark green leaves and its fragrant powderpuff clusters of pink stamens up to 1 inch across. They appear in mid to late summer.
Growing silk tree: Grow in full sun to very light shade in just about any soil. Although it is frost resistant, the silk tree does not tolerate low temperatures or prolonged periods below zero. Its use in zones 6, 7, and even 8 is limited to spots where subzero temperatures are rarely prolonged.
Uses for silk tree: The silk tree can be grown as a curiosity in more northerly zones. It also makes a good plant for patio containers. In the South, it is a popular accent plant.
Silk tree related varieties: The smaller-growing Albizia Julibrissin Rosea appears to be much hardier than the species (up to -15 degrees Fahrenheit) and may be somewhat resistant to wilt.
Scientific name of silk tree: Albizia Julibrissin
CAUTION: This tree is invasive in the southeastern U.S.