We have a new, premium variety tree this week, and it’s Summer Chocolate Silk Tree (Albizia julibrissin -‘Summer Chocolate’). This tree has large, feathery leaves that look kind of like fern fronds. The leaves are a deep burgundy and rival lace leaf Japanese Maples, Purple Smoke Bush and Purple Beech in intensity.
Summer Chocolate Silk Trees are sun-lovers. They are fast growers and can grow to 20 by 20 feet. They are not fussy about soil and are drought tolerant. Best of all, they are deer resistant, so if you are looking to add a splash of purple in an area frequented by deer, then this is the tree for you.
The bark and flowers from the Silk Tree are used in Chinese herbal medicine as antidepressants, hence the name, “The Happiness Tree”. Preparations from the tree are also supposed to have antioxidant properties. Information is available for folks who want to investigate these claims.
Gazing at a Summer Chocolate Silk Tree in bloom will bring happiness to anyone’s heart.