Albizia, Chocolate Mimosa, Purple-Leaf Mimosa Tree 'Summer Chocolate'

Albizia julibrissin

Family: Fabaceae (fab-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Albizia (al-BIZ-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: julibrissin (joo-lih-BRISS-in) (Info)
Cultivar: Summer Chocolate
Additional cultivar information:(PP13822)
Hybridized by Yokoi
Registered or introduced: 2000



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun



Foliage Color:





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)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone

Can be grown as an annual


Pollen may cause allergic reaction

Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Flowers are fragrant

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

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


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Green Valley, Arizona

Peoria, Arizona

Scottsdale, Arizona

Elk Grove, California

Martinez, California

Reseda, California

San Francisco, California(2 reports)

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

Brooklyn, New York

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

Grenoble, Rhône-Alpes

Edisto Island, South Carolina

Belton, Texas

Chandler, 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

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Nov 14, 2020, vossner from East Texas,
United States (Zone 8a) wrote:

I have grown this plant in amended clay, very limited supplemental water and it has done well, although grown rather slowly. I have grown this plant in sandy soil and regular supplemental water and it has thrived! The dark foliage is at its best in full sun and even then there is some color change from intense maroon to reddish dark green. Ive not noticed any volunteers as of this writing.


On Sep 29, 2015, SFBuddy from San Francisco, CA wrote:

I've had my Chocolate Mimosa for three years. I love it. Beautiful, unique specimen plant. Because of drought conditions, years one and two, I watered it very little and there was very little growth. This year it was "water or die" and with the watering came lots of growth. There are no flowers yet, but I'll be happy with just the unique tropical-looking, dark foliage as long as it will continue with foggy summers. Holds up to wind just fine, but trunk is staked until it's old enough to stand on it's own well. It was especially dark brown this year with the unusually hot summer season. I intend to keep it about 8' x 8', we'll see how it likes being "kept", so far so good.


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


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).


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?


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


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.


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.


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.



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.


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.


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...


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!


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.