Silk Floss Tree (Ceiba speciosa)

While their flowers are certainly beautiful, I have always found these trees to be quite alien and intimidating — especially with their thorny trunks. Silk floss trees are a relatively common street tree here in Los Angeles, blooming each Fall around this time.

Flowering Now: Silk Floss Tree (Ceiba speciosa)

Flowering Now: Silk Floss Tree (Ceiba speciosa)Flowering Now: Silk Floss Tree (Ceiba speciosa)

Photo: Douglas E. Welch, A Gardener’s Notebook

From Wikipedia…

The silk floss tree (Ceiba speciosa, formerly Chorisia speciosa), is a species of deciduous tree native to the tropical and subtropical forests of South America. It has a host of local common names, such as palo borracho (in Spanish literally “drunken stick”). It belongs to the same family as the baobab and the kapok. Another tree of the same genusCeiba chodatii, is often referred to by the same common names.

The natural habitat of the floss silk tree is the north-east of Argentina, east of BoliviaParaguayUruguay and southern Brazil. It is resistant to drought and moderate cold. It grows fast in spurts when water is abundant, and sometimes reaches more than 25 metres (82 ft) in height. Its trunk is bottle-shaped, generally bulging in its lower third, measuring up to 2 metres (7 ft) in girth. It is studded with thick conical prickles which serve to store water for dry times. In younger trees, the trunk is green due to its high chlorophyll content, which makes it capable of performing photosynthesis when leaves are absent; with age it turns to gray.[1] — Wikipedia

More information on Silk Floss Tree (Ceiba speciosa):


Previously in Flowering Now: