Ceiba speciosa
"Silk Floss Tree"

Photos by Mauroguanandi

Nothing says EXOTIC like this showy deciduous tree hailing from the northern regions of South America. When in full bloom, the extravagantly showy 5” white and orchid pink flowerssmother the entire canopy of the tree. The trunk is also striking - covered in sturdy conical spines from top to bottom. Oh and did I mention that its common name owes to the cottony insides of 8” long ovoid seedpods? Grows quickly and gets big, easily reaching 50’. Mature trees feature a bottle-shaped lower trunk, making them attractive to caudiciform lovers. Younger trunks are often green due to a high chlorophyll content. Lateral branches sprout palmate green leaves, each with six to eight 5” leaflets, followed in late Summer by a flush of flowers that attract pollinators such as hummingbirds and bees. Wild parrots feast on the seeds that follow. Avoid planting too close to a house or sewer lines as it has a large root system. Hardy down to 20° F.

Photos courtesy of mauroguanandi

Earl,
Curious Plantsman

Sun/Pt. Shade
Low Water

Perennial Tree
USDA zones 8b-10