The Silk Tree ‘Summer Chocolate’ is an attention grabber. It's primarily distinguished from the species by having unique and elegant deep burgundy foliage and very bright pink and white flowers. This deciduous tree grows quickly, in a vase shape between 20-40’ tall with a spreading, umbrella-like crown.
The leaves grow to 20” long with a fern-like appearance, and change from green to dark red, turning to reddish-bronze or chocolatey brown by late summer. While the leaf color is so unusual, you'll also love the fluffy, pink powder puff flower heads that cover the tree late in the summer season. The sweet fragrance from these flowers attracts bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. The pink flowers then develop into flat bean-like seed pods up to 7” that will decorate the tree through winter.Care guidelines
- Give the tree a location with full sun and moist, but well-drained soil.
- The tree needs water until the roots are established, but then becomes extremely drought tolerant.
- Prune from young age to acquire desired shape.
- Removal of the seed pods, which mature in late summer or early fall, can become part of the regular care plan.
It's Miguel's pick-of-the-week because:
"The deep chocolate hue of the foliage makes the tree both heat and drought tolerant – and deer dislike the odor of the leaves, so they won’t be tempted – a huge plus!"
Are you thinking about adding a 'Summer Chocolate' to your landscape? Check out these planting tips!