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11 Facts about Ecuador’s Pink Silk Tree (Albizia julibrissin)

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The Pink Silk (Albizia julibrissin) tree is beautiful! Its blossoms look more like feathers than flowers. The first time I saw this flowering tree I could hardly believe my eyes. It looks like something out of a Dr. Seuss book.

Pink-silk-tree-flower
Read more about living in Ecuador

11 Interesting Facts About the Pink Silk Tree

  1. They grow from 5 to 12 meters tall
  2. The stamens are pink, red, yellow, or white and look like strands of silk
  3. They are subtropical/tropical fast-growing trees/shrubs
  4. The leaves close and bow downwards during the night and when it's raining
  5. They are also known as the sleeping tree
  6. The stamens are much longer than the petals
  7. They attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds
  8. Are often used as an ornamental plant in parks
  9. Are known (incorrectly) as the mimosa tree
  10. The seeds grow in pods and are used as food for livestock
  11. The generic name Albizia julibrissin honors an Italian nobleman (Filippo degli Albizzi) who introduced this tree/shrub to Europe in the 18th century

The Pink Silk Tree

The blossoms look like fluffy little birds sitting among the branches.

Pink-silk-tree
Pink-silk-tree-Ecuador
Let's get a closer look. Have you seen a flower anything like this?

silk-like-flower-from-the-pink-silk-tree
the-top-of-the-flower-from-a-pink-silk-tree
flower-from-the-pink-silk-tree-Ecuador
Pink-silk-tree-flower
What interesting flowers have you seen during your travels? Please share your comments with us.

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Gerry

Wednesday 31st of December 2014

Does it blossom all year? If not when does it blossom?

Bryan Haines

Friday 2nd of January 2015

It doesn't blossom all year. These photos were taken in August - the plant was in bloom between July and October (at least). It would depend on what part of Ecuador you see the plant - and what climate zone it's in.

Al Timm

Sunday 19th of October 2014

Thanks for the enlightened history and close up pictures. I enjoy reading your reports.

Sheila

Saturday 18th of October 2014

I have one in y back yard. they are considered junk trees here because they drop seed pods everywhere and grow easily and can take over. I love mine though we do call it a Mimosa tree here in Central Texas

J Ed Sley

Saturday 18th of October 2014

5. They are also known as the sleeping tree Because if you grind up the seeds which grow in the pods - and smoke it - you'll drop off into comfortable sleep. WARNING: Do Not Drive Vehicles, Operate Machinery or Perform Surgery after smoking a "Pinkie".

Rebekah Dean

Friday 7th of April 2017

Why would anybody smoke a "Pinkie", are they stupid or what?

Melinda Lewis

Saturday 18th of October 2014

Interesting that you say the "pink silk tree is known (incorrectly) as the mimosa tree." When I enter the Latin name of the tree in a search, I get many links all of which say it is the same....

Bryan Haines

Saturday 18th of October 2014

The name mimosa is "incorrect" in the sense that it no longer belongs to the mimosa genus. As a common name it is fine, but the genus mimosa contains 400 species of herbs and shrubs. So the term is ambiguous. The names "pink silk tree" and "Persian silk tree" more accurately describe the tree. Albizia julibrissin belongs to the Albizia genus.

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