Silk Floss Tree

Considered one of the most beautiful trees in the world, the Silk Floss Tree is a deciduous tropical plant from Brazil and Argentina. Chorisia is a large tree which can grow to over 50 feet high with a spread as wide. Floss Silk Tree is well known for the large spikes protecting the trunk and limbs and the woody seed-pods which produce a soft silk that protects its seeds. The silk in the seeds pods was used to stuff life-jackets and pillows in an earlier time in history.

CEIBA SPECIOSA TREE IN SPRING BLOOM.

Plant Facts:

Common Name:   ‘Monsa’ Floss Silk Tree, Silk Floss Tree, “Kapok tree”

Botanical Name:   Ceiba speciosa, formerly Chorisia speciosa

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Family:  Bombacaceae

Plant Type:  Deciduous tree

Origin: Brazil, Argentina

CEIBA SPECIOSA THORNS.

Zones: 9 – 11 (saplings are sensitive to frost, but mature trees can tolerate temperatures to 20 degrees F for short periods of time).

Height:  35 to 50′ — width about the same so give it room

Rate of Growth: Fast the first couple years, then slows considerably

Salt Tolerance: Medium

Soil Requirements:  Well drained, moist, fertile humus

Water Requirements: Water moderately, less water in winter

Nutritional Requirements: Balanced liquid fertilizer monthly

Light Requirements: Full sun

Form:  Round

Leaves: Alternate, 5-7-palmate leaves

Flowers:  Open, funnel-shaped flowers in October-November

CEIBA SPECIOSA PODS FULL OF SILK FLOSS MATERIAL. SEEDS HIDDEN IN THE SILK FLOSS.

Fruits: Woody pods filled with fluffy silk

Pests:  Young plants affected by scale insects

Uses:  Specimen tree, recommended for buffer strips around parking lots or for median strip plantings in the highway, shade tree, residential street tree

Bad Habits: Leaf drop, fruit (pods) hard on lawn mowers and should be picked up before cutting turf under the tree

Cost:  $$ — reasonable

Propagation:   sow seeds from spring to early summer

Sources (“As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.”):  AMERICAN HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY A-Z ENCYCLOPEDIA OF GARDEN PLANTS; FLOWERING TREES OF FLORIDA

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