Silk Floss Tree

July 15, 2024

Dale_epod_tree trunk

PhotographerDale Hugo 
Summary Author: Dale Hugo

Shown above is a silk floss tree (Ceiba speciosa) I came upon while visiting the Naples Botanical Garden in Naples, Florida. It looks like it has chunks of broken porcelain sticking out of its trunk. I was NOT tempted to climb it -- or hug it.

Native to northern Argentina and Brazil they seem to do rather well in the humid subtropical climate of southwest Florida. The name "silk floss" comes from the appearance of the silky material that's wrapped about its seeds. Turns out that the nasty looking spines or thorns on their trunks aren't to discourage climbers but instead serve as little water-storage units, which come in handy when the weather is dry for extended periods. In optimal conditions, silk floss trees can grow up to 50 ft (15 m) in height. They do drop their leaves, so are deciduous but typically regrow new one in a matter of a few weeks. Photo taken on April 7, 2024.

Naples Botanical Garden, Florida Coordinates:  26.107, -81.771

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