Friday, July 22, 2016

Albizia julibrissin 'Summer Chocolate' – observations

My bargain Albizia julibrissin 'Summer Chocolate'  is really stretching out and achieving some size. I love it.

Bought for the foliage I've been dreading the day it finally blooms – but that day is here.

And surprisingly I think the flower is actually quite attractive.

Truth be told I hadn't noticed the flowers until a couple fell onto our new chairs. Looking up at the tree I still couldn't find any signs of them. Thank goodness eagle-eye-Hogan (aka Sean) was over for a visit and spotted another flower and a few buds.

For such a lacy foliage it casts a fine shadow.

The flowers are less pink than I expected them to be, maybe that's why they're getting a pass.

A couple days later I spotted this odd specimen at Portland Nursery.

Both chocolate and green foliage, on the same plant!

It was being sold as chocolate. I wonder how common it is for leaves to revert to green? And isn't it interesting the photo on the tag appears to have both colors? (and ye gads...check out that price!)...

Curious George, very curious...

All material © 2009-2016 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

24 comments:

  1. I actually like the flowers. They remind me a Baja fairy duster flowers (except those are bright red). Beautiful tree for sure but very messy in our climate where it's covered (COVERED!) with flowers in the summer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love Baja fairy duster flowers and would prefer that these were bright red. It's the combo of chocolate foliage with pink flowers that I don't like. As for the mess there are a few HUGE old trees of the green foliage variety near us that are typically covered with flowers. When the flowers start to dry and fall it is an ugly brown mess. My tree will not be allowed to get that big...

      Delete
  2. Can't imagine anyone would want the mixed tree. Or maybe that's just my preferences speaking!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It never occurred to me that it was "on purpose" - do you think it was? I figured a reversion of some sort.

      Delete
  3. The chocolate version is so pretty, but I really hope that it doesn't reseed for you. My stepson had a huge Mimosa that died a couple years back and seedlings are still coming up everywhere...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If it becomes a beast it will go away. No room for that in my garden!

      Delete
  4. I just planted two mimosa trees - one single-trunked about seven feet tall and one multi-trunked about four feet tall. I got them for $15. They're marginal here, but for that price, I just couldn't pass them up. They're 'E.H. Wilson' which is hardier than most and they're not supposed to present a problem here like they do in warmer climates. We'll see. The chocolate one is lovely!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You were smart to grab those! My tree was a similar bargain that I couldn't pass up. I've been told they are short lived (in every climate) so who knows how long I'll have it. Plus if it starts to flower like crazy and reseed, well then it's outta here!

      Delete
  5. Love the chairs! The choc mimosa looks great in your garden. I tried it in a large pot, and it was extremely unhappy, so I released it from its misery. I agree, the flowers are not a problem and don't detract at all. I would not be happy with it reverting and/or popping out the occasional green leaf and would thin those out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This one was in a pot for a year or more, while I decided where to put it, it wasn't happy either. No green leaves allowed!

      Delete
  6. It looks very pretty - in your garden. My very large green specimen is once again seeking total world domination by seeding everywhere even though the June heatwaves seemed to knock out the flowers earlier than usual. My peripheral vision is now finely tuned to the appearance of its seedlings, although I still live in fear that I'll miss one somewhere. Once the seedlings reach 8 inches in height or so, they're not easily pulled.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ugh...thank you for the reminder, and I am sorry yours is a thug!

      Delete
  7. I almost bought one myself, but the reseeding is a serious issue here. (And from what Alan says, elsewhere also.) I love yours! It looks perfect in your garden.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have a friend who has three, his have bloomed for two years now. So far no seedlings but it sounds almost unavoidable.

      Delete
  8. The flowers are really sweet with the foliage; not quite as charming when they start falling all over the place. However, it's still much tidier than bamboo! The mixed specimen is odd and oh, the price!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All the wind we've been having has really driven home how messy bamboo can be. There are leaves everywhere!!!

      Delete
  9. So far my chocolate one that I planted last fall has survived my neglect. I'm kind of amazed. I know you aren't happy with our cooler than normal, wet summer so far, but I haven't yet dragged a sprinkler around to any of my beds, so I like it. I'm kind of doing a tough love thing. I hope some day to have a lovely flowering tree like yours. I like the tiny hint of pink in the flowers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've been lax on watering too. Last year I was so good...with the heat and the Green on Green tour. Looking at the forecast though I guess I'd better get it in gear and do a little preemptive strike. Here's hoping you'll have flowers soon!

      Delete
  10. Busy Friday and almost missed this. Wow! that first shot is beautiful and I LOVE your new chairs. The full shot with the great shape of the tree and the chairs make your garden look so absolutely perfect that I'm ready to abandon ship and make an offer on your house.....
    I love the flower, but then again, I don't have an aversion to pink. But really, you like it because it's not pink; it's white, flushed with the same purple as the leaves. :)
    Here's a thought: if it starts to seed about, instead of removing, how about seeing if it can handle being coppiced? Can't you just picture a fountain of rapidly growing, oversized, purple, lacey foliage? Don't know if it can take it, but most weedy trees seem to readily sprout from the base when cut.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! After enjoying our time in Santa Barbara I just might accept that offer. Then again we could probably barely afford to rent an apartment there. Coppicing would definitely be a great alternative to removing it outright. Good back up plan!

      Delete
  11. After seeing this post of your lovely chocolate mimosa, my "must have's" took over and I bought one on line. It's been awhile since I ordered plants online so will see what it looks like. We live in the S. Florida area and I have never seen one like this. The pink flower/green leaf version in our front yard gets so many compliments but it needs constant maintenance to keep it looking like it does. They grow incredibly well here so hopefully the chocolate will too! Thanks for the inspirational post lol & your garden is gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh how wonderful, I hope it's a happy healthy little guy who settles in quickly.Thanks for commenting to let me know!

      Delete
  12. The flowers on the straight species are distinctly pink, so I can see why you were dreading them. What a nice surprise that they're more white than pink!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to comment. Comment moderation is on (because you know: spam), I will approve and post your comment as soon as possible!