Bee Lunch: Silk Tree (Albizia julibrissin)

Many gardeners are surprised when they hear that we don’t have many late summer flowers blooming in this area.  Blooming bushes and trees make up a large portion of forage for city hives which many gardeners forget about when they think of flowers.  To counter this I encourage people to plant trees and shrubs with late summer blooms to help provide abundant food sources.  The Silk Tree is a good example of a late summer nectar source and can also be very appealing in the garden.  These trees can range from 15 to 30 feet tall and have wide arching branches with wide flat crowns.  The leaves are fern like that droop downwards at night and the wispy flowers have long silky treads that are white with pink or red colored tips.  Like many good honey bee food sources the trees can be invasive in some areas.  These trees can also be messy in fall and are also susceptible to several disease which can make them short lived, but fortunately they grow quickly.  They prefer full sun and produce nectar in the morning hours which is often why you won’t see many pollinators on them in the afternoons.

Albizia julibrissin