Facts About the Persian Silk Tree and Tips for Care

Updated on May 16, 2020
Vellur profile image

A graduate in botany, Nithya Venkat enjoys writing about plants that help sustain life on planet Earth.

Persian Silk Tree
Persian Silk Tree | Source

The Persian silk tree is an attractive ornamental tree well-known for its beautiful foliage and flowers. The scientific name of this tree is Albizia julibrissin. It belongs to the Fabaceae family and genus Albizia.

The genus name honors Filippo delgi Albizzia, an 18th-century Italian naturalist, who introduced the genus to Italy in 1749. The specific epithet julibrissin comes from the Persian word gul-ebruschin, meaning floss silk, in reference to the silky strands of the flowers.

The plant is a deciduous, fast-growing tree with a spreading umbrella-like crown. Native to Asia, it can be found growing throughout the temperate regions of the world.

This tree is planted as an ornamental tree in parks and gardens. It can thrive in hot summer conditions and grow in varied soil types with low water requirements. In the wild, it can be found growing in vacant lots, clearings, wood margins, fields, and along the roads.

Persian Silk Tree-Flowers
Persian Silk Tree-Flowers | Source

Description and Characteristics

The Persian silk tree is a fast-growing deciduous tree with a “V” shaped crown and smooth greenish-grey bark that develops stripes as it ages. It can grow up to 20–40 feet in height.

It has angular, glabrous branches with many lenticels. The leaves are dark green with a fern-like appearance. They are compound and bipinnate.

Each leaf has 10–25 pinnae, with each pinnae having 40–60 tiny leaflets. The leaflets are sensitive and close at night or when touched.

The flowers are pink and fluffy. The stamens are numerous and hang jutting out from the corolla. The flowers bloom from mid-spring to late summer.

The fruit is a flat brown bean-like seed pod about 7 inches long. It remains on the plant until the next spring. The seeds have an impermeable coat and can remain dormant for years.

Parts of the Persian Silk Tree Flower
Parts of the Persian Silk Tree Flower | Source

The flowers are produced in dense inflorescences and attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. An individual flower has a small calyx and corolla with a cluster of white or pink stamens. The stamens are 2 cm to 3 cm long and look like silky threads.

Propagation of the Persian Silk Tree

The tree is propagated through seeds, semi-hardwood cuttings in summer, and root cuttings in winter.

Harvesting the Seeds

To harvest the seeds, allow the seed pods to dry out completely. When the outer shells turn dark brown, they are ready for harvesting. Pluck the seedpods and dry them on a paper towel. Break open the seedpods and remove the seeds and store them to plant in spring or late fall.

Persian Silk Tree Care

The Persian silk tree needs just enough water to keep the soil moist. It can even tolerate short periods of drought. A two-inch layer of mulch will help to protect the tree and keep the soil moist. Fertilize the soil with compost or organic fertilizer in early spring. Prune dead branches to keep the tree healthy.

This tree can also be grown as a container plant. Choose a large container with loamy soil and holes for adequate drainage. The"Summer Chocolate" variety of the Persian silk tree grows well as a container plant.

The seeds can be planted in a container or directly in the soil. They flourish in well-drained acidic soil with a pH of 4.6 to 5.0.

Different Cultivars

The Persian Silk tree has many cultivars:

  • The "Rosea" cultivar flowers are bright pink.
  • The "Alba" has white flowers.
  • The "Boubri" has deep pink blooms.
  • The "Summer Chocolate" cultivar features burgundy colored leaves.

The Persian silk tree is a weed and an invasive species in the south-central and southeastern United States.

Beauty and Skincare Benefits

The extract of the Persian silk tree has an anti-glycation effect on the skin. (Glycation is a process that results in the skin losing its elasticity leading to the development of wrinkles.)

The extract helps to repair the structure of damaged skin proteins, erases wrinkles, reduces dark circles under the eyes, and helps to get rid of puffy eyes. It improves blood circulation to the skin and prevents the formation of age spots. This extract is used in many skincare products.

References

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

    © 2020 Nithya Venkat

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      • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

        Nithya Venkat 

        2 weeks ago from Dubai

        Thank you, Marie, "tickle tree" is an apt name.

      • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

        Nithya Venkat 

        2 weeks ago from Dubai

        It must have been wonderful to see the trees and plants in her property. Thank you for your visit, Denise.

      • Marie Flint profile image

        Marie Flint 

        2 weeks ago from Tawas City, Michigan USA

        I'm familiar with this tree as the name "mimosa." It is lovely. I think it's also sometimes referred to as the "tickle tree" because the leaves are supposedly sensitive to the touch. I wasn't always able to get them to fold, though.

        Florida has so many lovely plants and trees. Thank you for sharing this. You did a fine job.

      • PAINTDRIPS profile image

        Denise McGill 

        2 weeks ago from Fresno CA

        My grandmother used to love different and exotic plants and trees. She had many on her 10 acre property here in central California when I was growing up. My favorite had to be the Persian Silk Tree with its deep pink fuzzy flowers. It was so beautiful and provided so much shade.

        Blessings,

        Denise

      • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

        Nithya Venkat 

        2 weeks ago from Dubai

        The flowers are gorgeous and the tree is stunning when it is covered with flowers. Thank you for your visit and comments.

      • rajan jolly profile image

        Rajan Singh Jolly 

        2 weeks ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

        The flowers are gorgeous. I love their velvety sheen. Great to learn about this tree. Thanks for sharing.

      • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

        Nithya Venkat 

        2 weeks ago from Dubai

        Peg Cole I am happy that you enjoyed reading about the Persian silk tree. Thank you for your visit and comments.

      • PegCole17 profile image

        Peg Cole 

        2 weeks ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

        This stunning tree is gorgeous. I enjoyed learning about its origin and the ways it can be grown. Nice to know that it has rejuvenative properties on skin as well as its own beauty.

      • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

        Nithya Venkat 

        3 weeks ago from Dubai

        The flowers are beautiful and the beauty benefit is an extra bonus of this tree. Thank you for your visit and comments Dora.

      • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

        Nithya Venkat 

        3 weeks ago from Dubai

        Thank you for your visit and comments Devika.

      • DDE profile image

        Devika Primić 

        3 weeks ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

        The Persian tree facts are fascinating and unique to me. You shared a beautiful photo and informed me of a different tree in nature.

      • MsDora profile image

        Dora Weithers 

        3 weeks ago from The Caribbean

        Thanks for these details on the Persian silk tree. The flowers are beautiful and among all its other benefits, I like the effect the extract has on the skin.

      • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

        Nithya Venkat 

        3 weeks ago from Dubai

        Ruby this tree is a treat for the eyes and the flowers look like they are from a fairytale! Thank you for your visit Ruby.

      • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

        Nithya Venkat 

        3 weeks ago from Dubai

        Yes, it is a beautiful tree Peggy and its extracts are good for the skin. Thank you for your visit.

      • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

        Nithya Venkat 

        3 weeks ago from Dubai

        Thank you for your visit FlourishAnyway. I hope you get to see more of this tree.

      • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

        Nithya Venkat 

        3 weeks ago from Dubai

        Thank you Mary, the Persian silk tree is beautiful when it is in full bloom.

      • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

        Nithya Venkat 

        3 weeks ago from Dubai

        Oh yes! it does and it is beautiful. Thank you for your visit Brenda.

      • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

        Nithya Venkat 

        3 weeks ago from Dubai

        They are beautiful, thank you for your visit Linda.

      • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

        Nithya Venkat 

        3 weeks ago from Dubai

        Thank you Umesh.

      • bhattuc profile image

        Umesh Chandra Bhatt 

        3 weeks ago from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India

        Very informative article. Well conceived.

      • AliciaC profile image

        Linda Crampton 

        3 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

        This looks like a beautiful tree. I love the appearance of the flowers. Thanks for sharing the information about the plant, Nithya.

      • Brenda Arledge profile image

        BRENDA ARLEDGE 

        3 weeks ago from Washington Court House

        Nithya,

        I'm with Ruby...if it stops wrinkles naturally. Also dark eye circles.

        It's a beautiful tree.

        Thanks for sharing.

      • aesta1 profile image

        Mary Norton 

        3 weeks ago from Ontario, Canada

        I love it when the tree is full of flowers. Thanks for naming the tree for me. You truly captured its beauty in the first photo.

      • FlourishAnyway profile image

        FlourishAnyway 

        3 weeks ago from USA

        So that is what this beautiful tree is called! I have always loved them but haven’t seen them in awhile probably because of where I live now! Thank you for this information. Gorgeous tree.

      • Peggy W profile image

        Peggy Woods 

        3 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

        We have this tree or a very similar one with the same types of flowers that grow in the Houston area. It is a beauty! I did not know that extracts from this tree are used in skincare products.

      • always exploring profile image

        Ruby Jean Richert 

        3 weeks ago from Southern Illinois

        It is a beautiful flowering tree. I don't think we have them here in Southern Il. If we did, I'd have them everywhere, esp. since they stop the wrinkling process. LOL Thanks for sharing.

      • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

        Nithya Venkat 

        3 weeks ago from Dubai

        Thank you for your visit and comments Chitrangada. It must be great to see the tree everyday.

      • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

        Nithya Venkat 

        3 weeks ago from Dubai

        Thank you Liz, the Persian silk tree is stunningly beautiful with the flowers in full bloom.

      • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

        Nithya Venkat 

        3 weeks ago from Dubai

        Thank you Lorna, I am happy you enjoyed reading this article.

      • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

        Nithya Venkat 

        3 weeks ago from Dubai

        It must be great to see the tree with birds and butterflies! Thank you for your visit Eric.

      • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

        Nithya Venkat 

        3 weeks ago from Dubai

        The Persian silk tree is like a fairytale tree. Thank you for your visit John.

      • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

        Nithya Venkat 

        3 weeks ago from Dubai

        Yes, I wish you had them too Bill. Thank you for your visit.

      • Vellur profile imageAUTHOR

        Nithya Venkat 

        3 weeks ago from Dubai

        They are beautiful Ann, thank you for your visit.

      • annart profile image

        Ann Carr 

        3 weeks ago from SW England

        Beautiful flowers! I knew nothing about this tree but now I do so thank you. We don't have them here, I presume because it's too cold, though they may be in some indoor arboretums.

        Ann

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        3 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

        Never heard of it, but it is a stunningly beautiful tree. Thanks for the introduction. I wish we had them here.

      • Jodah profile image

        John Hansen 

        3 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        What a beautiful tree. I have never seen one here in Australia. Thanks for sharing Nithya.

      • Ericdierker profile image

        Eric Dierker 

        3 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

        So cool, when I have seen them I always say to myself to look them up and learn. Thank you as I had never done that. I will stop at one on a walk today. They are busiest at dawn here with all the birds. I saw a Monarch in one just last week. Thanks much.

      • Lorna Lamon profile image

        Lorna Lamon 

        3 weeks ago

        This is a beautiful tree with many beneficial properties for the skin. I had never heard of this tree and your article was very informative and interesting. Thank you for sharing this enjoyable read Nithya.

      • Eurofile profile image

        Liz Westwood 

        3 weeks ago from UK

        This looks like a lovely tree. Your article is very informative and well-illustrated. I have not seen a tree like this before.

      • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

        Chitrangada Sharan 

        3 weeks ago from New Delhi, India

        Excellent information about this wonderful tree.

        It’s a beautiful coincidence that this beautiful tree is planted, just in the front of my home garden. It’s full of red flowers, as you have shown here. Another wonderful thing about this tree is, that it attracts many birds, in the morning.

        Thank you for sharing so many interesting details, about the Persian silk tree, and it’s flowers, which I was not aware of, especially the health benefits.

        Thank you for this informative article.

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