Filippo degli Albizzi, for whom this plant is named after, was an Italian naturalist in the 18th century and belonged to an important Florentine family enriched during the Middle Ages by the wool trade. Filippo was the first to introduce the silk tree in Europe, bringing it in 1740 from Istanbul, formerly Constantinople.
A variety of the silk tree, the julibrissin, is also known as Constantinople acacia. Various species of trees and oriental flowers arrived to Europe coming from this city, now Istanbul, the ancient capital of the Turkish Ottoman Empire. At the time, when Filippo degli Albizzi arrived to the city, Istanbul was the natural gateway to the East from the West, the meeting point between Europe and Asia, especially for being the beginning and end of the ancient Silk Road that once, in the Middle Ages, came to Europe through al-Andalus.
The silk tree gives a fruit with the shape of legumes, wide and small, and its leaves are used as a vegetable in their place of origin, in tropical Asia. In Europe it is usually grown as a shade tree with ornamental sense.