Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Purple-leaf Mimosa Tree
Albizia julibrissin 'Summer Chocolate'

Family: Mimosaceae
Genus: Albizia (al-BIZ-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: julibrissin (joo-lih-BRISS-in) (Info)
Cultivar: Summer Chocolate
Additional cultivar information: (PP13822)
Hybridized by Yokoi; Year of Registration or Introduction: 2000

5 vendors have this plant for sale.

51 members have or want this plant for trade.


30-40 ft. (9-12 m)

over 40 ft. (12 m)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Pollen may cause allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Flowers are fragrant
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

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By Carena
Thumbnail #1 of Albizia julibrissin by Carena

By Carena
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There are a total of 26 photos.
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10 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive billybobboob On Nov 26, 2013, billybobboob from Jefferson Valley-Yorktown, NY wrote:

zone 6b and my chocolate silk is growing like crazy. Fall of 2012 it was 4 ft tall with a 1 inch caliper ,now it a full 7 footer with a beautiful canopy look. I have a cutting in peat moss in my basement waiting for a spring planting

Positive myrtle1 On Sep 25, 2013, myrtle1 from Cypress, CA wrote:

I first saw this tree (about 7-8'specimen) in an independent nursery just south of Sacramento. Should have bought it then. The next day, I noticed it in a bed or tropical plants outside a popular international restaurant (residing in a former movie house) downtown Sacramento. Irresistible and gorgeous in both cases with color than contrasted beautifully with surrounding green tropicals. I have since been unable to locate it in nurseries in my area (Orange County, CA).

Positive Roundtree On Jun 9, 2013, Roundtree from Chicago, IL wrote:

I have owned my Albizia for 3 years. I love it. I also keep my Albizia - summer chocolate - in a planter. Since I live in zone 5, I winter it in my basement. However, this spring the new foliage is remaining green and not turning into the rich burgundy color of past seasons. I am wondering if the soil is the problem, because the location remains the same. Does anyone have any ideas?

Positive greenobsessed On Sep 27, 2011, greenobsessed from Champaign, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

i live in central illinois, i bought one of these at lowes knowing it wouldnt winter over, however in late spring the following year i loved the dead wood of the skeleton so i planted a few clematis to grow in the skeleton and june VOILA it made 5 huge new branches and is now 5 feet across! im going to mulch it and wrap it in burlap and hope for a reappearance in spring.. i didnt bloom this year though

Positive Gourd On Aug 15, 2011, Gourd from Mesilla Park, NM wrote:

We finally found a local source for this cultivar and planted two 4 ' trees. They are doing great and didn't skip a beat in this heat at 103 when we transplanted them. We did use fish emulsion to water them several times and one of them is blooming this week and has tons of buds.

Neutral Teshia On Jul 16, 2011, Teshia from Mentor, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

I live in north eastern Ohio and this spring I planted a chocolate mimosa. I hope it can survive our harsh winters. I see many of the regular mimosas growing in my neighborhood, wish us luck.

Neutral Drishti On Nov 18, 2008, Drishti from Berkeley, CA (Zone 11) wrote:

If it gets mimosa-massive -- it might overwhelm us (we're at a community garden in San Francisco)

It did get lopped once, and I thought it had died. But it's since re-sprouted from about 5 inches above the base of the trunk.


Positive Pierantonio On Sep 26, 2007, Pierantonio from Bristol, RI wrote:

Just planted this tree in July 2007. New shoots appeared almost immediately and it appears to be prospering. It likes dry poor soil. I would recommend that you NOT fertilize at all. Very pleasing appearance.

Positive rcn48 On Sep 6, 2006, rcn48 from Lexington, VA (Zone 6a) wrote:

We first saw this tree at J.C. Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh, NC in October, 2003. We were extremely impressed with the rich 'chocolate' foliage and the fact that it tolerated the heat and humidity of Raleigh's summers without losing its rich color like so many other popular burgundy foliage plants. We've now found a perfect spot in our gardens to highlight this exciting new cultivar. The foliage alone is beautiful, but we're looking forward to the bonus of the attractive flowers in years to come.

Positive ineedacupoftea On Oct 25, 2005, ineedacupoftea from Denver, CO wrote:

There is a young tree at the botanical gardens where I work, and this plant receives more questions and compliments than anything else. I was suprised to see the leaves survive our hot/altitude/thin atmosphere/ Sun, not to mention a soil salty enough to beat dahlias. 2-3' per year.

I need to make a bigger sign for it...

Positive austintxeric On Oct 10, 2005, austintxeric from Round Rock, TX wrote:

Tree has grown 2-3 feet in first 5 months since planting. Great color so far!

Positive loplantguy On Feb 15, 2005, loplantguy from Lake Oswego, OR wrote:

A beautiful tree the first year in the ground.Three feet plus of growth over the season. New growth is greenish and changes to chocolate brown in the sun. Especially nice to look down on with its horizontal habit. Very available from a national grower in independent nurseries.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

, (3 reports)
Green Valley, Arizona
Peoria, Arizona
Scottsdale, Arizona
Elk Grove, California
Martinez, California
Reseda, California
San Francisco, California
San Leandro, California
Grand Junction, Colorado
Sanford, Florida
Atlanta, Georgia
Champaign, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois
Covington, Louisiana
Deridder, Louisiana
Fallston, Maryland
Pahrump, Nevada
Burlington, New Jersey
Mesilla Park, New Mexico
Roswell, New Mexico
Middletown, New York
Pound Ridge, New York
Yorktown Heights, New York
Mentor, Ohio
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Lake Oswego, Oregon
Bristol, Rhode Island
North Kingstown, Rhode Island
Edisto Island, South Carolina
Belton, Texas
Galveston, Texas
Marion, Texas
Round Rock, Texas
Amelia Court House, Virginia
Lexington, Virginia
Norfolk, Virginia
Buckley, Washington
Olympia, Washington
Seattle, Washington
Vancouver, Washington
Erbacon, West Virginia

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