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

Posted in: Ecuador Travel

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.


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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 and 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

Lets 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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Meet the Author

Dena Haines is co-editor of GringosAbroad - Ecuador's largest blog for expats and travelers. She is a travel blogger and content marketer. She is also co-founder of ClickLikeThis (GoPro tutorial blog) and Storyteller Travel.

8 comments… add one
  • Gerry Dec 31, 2014, 8:52 pm

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

    • Bryan Haines Jan 2, 2015, 7:31 am

      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 Oct 19, 2014, 10:34 am

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

  • Sheila Oct 18, 2014, 6:43 pm

    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 Oct 18, 2014, 3:43 pm

    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 Apr 7, 2017, 2:10 pm

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

  • Melinda Lewis Oct 18, 2014, 11:33 am

    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 Oct 18, 2014, 12:51 pm

      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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