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Show-stopping trees: Silk floss

So you may or may not already know, that I am an unapologetic plant nerd, and that I brake for show-stopping trees in full bloom. High on my list of show-stopping trees is the Silk Floss (Chorisia speciosa syn. Ceiba speciosa). Described as “spectacular” when in full bloom, its canopy of orchid-shaped pink flowers appearing in late-fall to early-winter, is impossible to ignore.

But wait – there’s more! As if a canopy of perfectly pink flowers was not enough for plant-lovers to behold, the trunk on this beauty has probably one of the most unusual features in ‘plant-world’; it’s full of cone-shaped thorns, resembling blisters.

And although truly awe-inspiring, “gardener beware” – this is a very large tree, growing up to 50 ft. tall and 55 ft. wide. It can also be described as a ‘messy tree’, due to the shedding of spent blooms and fruit, which may require additional landscape maintenance. Interesting fact: the silky plant fibers present in the fruit, were historically used as pillow stuffing.

Learn more: Chorisia speciosa

2 Comments on “Show-stopping trees: Silk floss

    • Hello Ray,
      Having the ‘perfect’ shade tree starts with planting the right plant in the right place. Because Poinciana trees can grow 50 ft. wide, giving them enough room to spread out will preclude having to do frequent pruning. As the tree matures, branches lower than 5ft. from the ground can be pruned to provide clearance under the canopy. Additional information on pruning shade trees is available at: https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/publication/EP276

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