Pink silk floss tree

Landscape Plants

  • Broadleaf, semi-deciduous, large tree, to 60 ft high and 30 ft wide (18 × 9 m). Trunks of young trees are greenish but turn gray with age and can be studded with large conical spines. The lower trunk may also become swollen. Leaves are alternate, palmately compound, with 6-8 lanceolate leaflets, each about 12.5 × 3.5 cm, the tip is acute and margin serrate. Bloom occurs in summer (with leaves) or fall (even after leaf drop), the flower is showy, about 10 cm across, with 5 spreading, oblong petals, each to 10 cm long, white to cream at the base and the upper part pale-pink to rose with the addition of yellow or white and often spotted with purple or brown. The fruit, a dehiscent capsule, is ovoid and about 20 cm long; in spring it splits open to release fingers of white cotton-like fibers and numerous black seeds.
  • Full sun for best flowering, well-drained, moist soil, some drought resistance when established.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 9. Reportedly leaves drop when temperatures sink below 27° F. A large tree in front of a nursery in Santa Barbara, California survived a low temperature of 18° F without any major damage. A South American tree, and its natural range extends from southern Brazil to eastern Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay and northeastern Argentina; a frequent street tree in Buenos Aires.
  • This tree has long been grown in California under its previous name of Chorisia speciosa. It was introduced into California by Dr. Francisco Franceschi (Fenzi) of Santa Barbara in 1900 and there are large specimens in this city that were planted in 1960. Sunset Western Garden Book lists two selections: ‘Los Angeles Beautiful’, with wine-red flowers, and ‘Majestic Beauty’, thornless and with rich pink flowers.
  • Some taxonomy: The tree was considered to be in the genus Chorisia and in the Bombax family (Bombacaceae); now some authorities have transferred it to the subfamily Bombacoideae within the Mallow family, the Malvaceae, and into the genus Ceiba. This is the same genus of the tropical Kapok tree (Ceiba pentandra) which also has silky floss in its seed pods. Other authorities still recognize Chorisia as the genus name.

What Kind of Tree Grows Spikes?

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Several species of trees grow spikes, more accurately known as spines or thorns. These can appear on different parts of the tree, depending on the variety, and are believed to have served as a defense against now-extinct giant mammals according to Bucknell University Arboretum. Spiky trees occur in many different botanical families, and are found throughout the Americas.

Silk Floss Tree

The silk floss tree (Chorisia speciosa) , found in the tropical forests of Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Puerto Rico, bears thick spikes along the entire length of its bulging trunk. The tree has prickly horizontal branches that flower into pink and white. These later leave seed pods containing cotton-like fibers, from which the name of the tree derives.

Honeylocust

The honeylocust (Gleditsia triacanthos) is a deciduous tree found across the continental United States, particularly in the lower Midwest. Named for the sweet-flavored pulp of its seed pods, the honeylocust’s trunk is covered in clusters of long thorns that change color from green to red to gray as they age.

Hercules’ Club

The Hercules’ club (Zanthoxylum clava-herculis) is a species of tree that is actually named after its spiky trunk. This tree grows in the southern United States, and bears short, thick spines and leathery leaves. Native Americans used the tree as a cure for the toothache, since chewing on its leaves was found to cause numbness in the mouth.

Guinea Bactris

The Guinea bactris (Aiphanes minima) is a spiny palm that grows throughout the Caribbean, found in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Barbados and Granada. Its thin trunk is covered in needle-like spikes, which also sometimes occur on the underside of the leaves. The palm has a round, red fruit that has an edible seed.

Floss Silk Tree

Chorisia speciosa

The exotic floss silk tree features showy pink flowers, seed pods filled with fluffy white silk, and one of the most unique tree trunks in nature.

This tree has incredible “wow factor” for several reasons.

The thick trunk keeps its green color (see close-up below) and takes on a slightly bulbous shape as the plant matures.

The trunk also develops amazing thorns like spiky medieval weaponry.

Pretty pink flowers cover the treetop in autumn (this photo was taken in mid-November), followed by large, pear-shaped seed pods that contain a silky “floss” embedded with small seeds. The silk was once used to stuff pillows.
Best on large properties or as a single specimen in a medium-sized yard, the floss silk should be planted well away from foot traffic and play areas because of the thorns.

Plant specs

These trees are fast growers when they’re young, slowing down to a more moderate pace as they mature, with an ultimate height of about 35 or 40 feet tall.

Cold hardy anywhere in South Florida, the tree is deciduous (loses its leaves in winter).

But the unusual trunk and irregular branching pattern make it an interesting landscape feature all year round.

Place in a full to part sun location.

Is it floss silk or silk floss?

The former is correct, though mention any combination and people who are familiar with this tree will know what you’re talking about.

One way to remember the correct name is to think alphabetically: F comes before S.

Plant care

Add top soil or organic peat humus, mixed with composted cow manure, to the hole when you plant.

This is a fairly drought-tolerant tree. Water regularly for the first year to get it well-established, then give it more time to dry out between waterings once it’s more mature.

Fertilize 3 times a year (spring, summer and fall) with a good granular fertilizer.

Plant spacing

Come away from the house 15 feet or more to accommodate the eventual size of the canopy.

Plant 10 feet from drives or walkways so roots (as well as leaves and flower petals) don’t become a problem.

This tree can be grown in a large container while it’s young.

Landscape uses for the floss silk tree

  • single specimen tree
  • lining a large driveway
  • large anchor for a garden bed

A.K.A.(also known as): Silk Floss Tree (a common juxtaposition of the correct name)
GOOD SNOWBIRD PLANT? NO
COMPANION PLANT SUGGESTIONS: Use plants around or nearby that like to go a bit dry between waterings, such as selloum philodendron, dwarf oleander, variegated arboricola, muhly grass, burfordii holly, coontie, and ice plant.

Other trees you might like: Hong Kong Orchid Tree, Tabebuia Trees

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Classification

Common Name: Silk Floss Tree

Scientific Name: Ceiba speciosa

Family: Malvaceae

Distinguishing characteristics

Habitat: These trees can reach a potential 25 meters tall with fat and thorny bottle-shaped trunks and branches. These trees can be commonly found in the tropical/subtropical areas of South America, but also now can be found in other parts of the world as a decorative tree due to their colorful flower.

Image 1: Full tree, Image credit: Don Walker

Leaves: The leaves of the Silk Floss Tree are palmate with five-inch-long leaflets. Typically, the leaflets are in groups of 5-7 as depicted in Image 2 below.

Image 2: Young leaves, Image credit: Armand L.

Twigs and Bark: The bark of these trees is reported to be thin, but covered in thick thorns to protect it from tree climbers originally from the Amazon such as monkeys that damage the bark. The thorns covering the bark of the tree are also said to be used as a drip irrigation system where dew will collect on the thorns on the tree, and then will condense into water and drip onto the soil below near the tree. This can be especially useful during long dry seasons or when water becomes less accessible.

Image 3: Close-up view of bark, Image credit: Ken’s Nursery

Flowers & Fruits: The tree has hibiscus-like flowers that make it look very distinct. Flowers can grow to 5-6 inches wide with a bright pink color. The Silk Floss Tree has fruits that have bean-sized black seeds and large seed pods that contain large quantities of cotton fiber.

Image 4: Silk Floss Tree flower, Image credit: Mauro Guanandi

Image 5: Silk Floss seed pods, Image credit: Unknown

Image 6: Close-up view of cotton fibers, AKA Kapok, Image credit: Daiva

Where it’s from

Native range: This plant is native to the Amazon Rainforest in South America, more specifically, in the north-east region of Argentina, Eastern Bolivia, Paraguay, and Uruguay. The Silk Floss Tree was brought up to the United States and many other countries to be planted for decorative purposes. The Silk Floss Tree grows well in response to full sun, copious amounts of moisture in the soil, and proliferates when kept dry towards late summer time.

Image 7: Native range of the Silk Floss Tree, Image credit: Nasa Blue Marble Imagery

Ecological Notes: Since the seeds are stored in larger pods, the seeds can’t be dispersed too far away from the parental tree. The pods most likely get knocked off the tree via flying animals or strong winds and get carried by their tails across a much further distance to where the seeds inside fall out of the large pod and populate the area. The strong winds and water-resistant property of the Kapok give support for the idea that the seeds traversed the ocean from South America to West Africa. A major pest to the Silk Floss Tree is the scale insect that secretes honeydew that promotes the growth of a black fungus on the tree that blocks the leaves from their access to sunlight and ultimately, photosynthesis. These scale insects feed via sucking up the sap from the Silk Floss Tree’s phloem. One functional adaptation to the environment is that the tree developed thorns to discourage animals from climbing up the tree and damaging their trunk or bark especially at an early age when they’re more vulnerable.

What we use it for

The cotton fibers found from Silk Floss Trees, which are called Kapok, are often used to stuff the insides of things such as pillows and a variety of other cold-weather clothing. The fibers of the Silk Floss Tree also have a hydrophobic property that allowed it to be used in the material that goes into life preservers. The Kapok fibers have also had a hand in being used in the upholstery of many automobiles for the United States. Its seeds are also used to make vegetable oil for people to use in cooking. When Southern American tribes were more prominent, the tribal people would often use the water-resistant bark to make canoes for themselves. Luckily now though, using the wood is not very common at all anywhere around the world anymore in canoe making and has little to no other value. This, as a result, helps preserve the Silk Floss Trees from getting chopped down. Thus, the Silk Floss Tree can also be commonly found being utilized for decorative purposes in most places around the world.

Biographer: Brandon Lee, BIOL238 Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, Fall 2017

  News & Events September 30, 2018

Desert Agave or Century Plant, Agave deserti (Desert Agave, Mescal, Century Plant or Maguey) is native to desert regions in southern California, Arizona, and Baja California. There are two recognized varieties in California. Var. deserti is found in the desert edge of the Peninsular Range. Var. simplex is found in the Mojave Desert. In both varieties, it forms a rosette of fleshy gray-green leaves 20-70 centimeters long and 4.5-10 centimeters broad, with sharp spines along the edges and at the tips. It flowers at maturity (20-40 yrs), sending up a flower cluster 2-6 meters tall. The inflorescence grows extremely fast currently, up to 1 ft. per day. The stems bear numerous yellow, funnel-shaped flowers 3-6 centimeters long which attract numerous birds and insects. Like other members of the Agavaceae, the mother plant dies after flowering, but numerous pups are produced around the base, sometimes forming large clonal rings. Native people ate the flowers and roasted and ate the “heart” of rosettes that had just begun to send up a flower stalk.

Catclaw, Acacia greggii. This shrub is best known for its thorns which can scratch your arm or grab your shirtsleeve. As opposed to mesquite thorns which are straight, catclaw thorns are curved like the claws of a kitten.

Acacia greggii is named for Josiah Gregg whose book Commerce of the Prairies is a portrait of pioneer life on the Santa Fe Trail and northern Mexico in the 1830s and 1840s. Among other accomplishments, Gregg collected plants for what is now the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis. Several plant species bear his name.

Fremont Cottonwood The Fremont Cottonwood is a cottonwood native to North America, growing in riparian areas near streams, rivers, and wetlands in the southwestern part of the United States, and downwards into Mexico. It is a large tree growing from 12-35 meters in height, with a trunk up to 1.5-meter diameter. The bark is smooth when young, becoming deeply fissured with whitish cracked bark on old trees. Flower cluster consists of a long drooping catkin, which blooms from March to April. The fruit is a wind dispersed achene, that appears to look like patches of cotton hanging from limbs, thus the name cottonwood. Often only the male plants are sold. The leaves are heart-shaped with white veins and coarse crenate teeth along the sides. It’s an important plant for birds and butterflies.

Fremont Cottonwoods require moist soil and plenty of sun but are tough and easy to grow. When properly situated and with access to plenty of water, they can grow 10-20 feet in a year and reach up to 100 feet in height and 35 feet in width – so not an excellent choice for small gardens. Best to plant these trees by creeks, in seeps, or in areas with plenty of natural water. Unless planted by a lawn that gets daily water, they require more water than you’re likely to want to give them through artificial irrigation. They can handle occasional flooding without a problem. The leaves are beautiful and create a spectacular effect when they shimmer in the wind.

This plant is tough and easy to grow, and pretty much foolproof if it gets enough water.

Creosote Bush, Larrea tridentata. White Bur-Sage and Creosote Bush are usually considered the two most common shrubs in Anza-Borrego. Creosote Bush smells good after a rain, and bees are attracted to its bright yellow flowers.

Generally overlooked because it is such a common plant in southwest desert environments, the Creosote offers plenty of beauty if you look closely at the delicate flowers and the fruits, and if you take in the unique smell, which is something of an acquired taste that desert lovers come to appreciate, a smell that hangs in the air after a desert rain and signals to your brain that life is being renewed. It’s a happy smell.

And like the plant itself, the story of the Creosote is a story with many branches. There are complex stories that tell of the incredible adaptations of this plant that permits it to thrive in its harsh environment, like the resinous leaves that help the plant hold on to all the valuable water that it can, by slowing water loss through transpiration.

And then there is the story of its age. Some Creosote bushes may be counted among the oldest plants in the world. As the plant grows and the crown branches divide, the central branches will slowly die, leaving the outer circle of the plant as the most vigorous part. As this process continues over the years the plant may assume a donut shape, with bare earth in the middle and a ring of growth spread around the center.

Over hundreds or even thousands of years, this slow cloning of the original plant will cause the circle to expand, to take on an elliptical shape as different sections of the plant grow faster than others. Some of these circles have been estimated to be more than 10,000 years old, placing them as one of the oldest living plants on earth. Over the years some of these clone circles have expanded so much that they are not immediately recognizable for what they are; they appear to be individual plants randomly growing across the desert floor.

Crucifixion Thorn or Corona de Cristo, Koeberlinia spinosa is a species of flowering plant native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico known by several common names, including Crown of Thorns, Althorn, and Crucifixion Thorn. It is the sole species of the monotypic genus Koeberlinia, which is sometimes considered to be the only genus in the plant family Koeberliniaceae. Alternately it is treated as a member of the caper family. This is a shrub of moderate to generous size, sprawling to maximum heights over 4 meters (13 feet). It is entirely green while growing and is made up of tangling straight stems which branch many times. The tip of each rigid stem branch tapers into a long, sharp spine. Leaves are mainly rudimentary, taking the form of tiny deciduous scales. Most of the photosynthesis occurs in the green stem branches. The shrub blooms abundantly in white to greenish-white flowers. The fruits are shiny black berries each a few millimeters long; they are attractive to birds.

Desert-willow, it is a small tree native to the southwestern United States and Mexico. Despite the common name Desert-willow, given because of its willow-like leaves, it is a member of the bignonia family, Bignoniaceae. It is commonly seen in washes and along riverbanks at elevations below 1500 meters in the Colorado and Mojave Deserts. Ranging from 1.5 to as much as 8 meters in height, it can have the general appearance of either a shrub or a small tree. The linear curved leaves, ranging from 10-26 centimeter in length and 2-4 millimeter broad, are deciduous. It has fragrant pink flowers that hummingbirds love.

Because it is winter deciduous, it will be leafless for half of the year. However, in Spring and Summer, its flowers justify inclusion in a sunny, inland garden.

The desert-willow has bean-like fruits but does not belong to the Legume Family. Despite the name, it is not a member of the Willow Family. The above photo shows both the flowers and the fruits of the desert-willow which is a member of the Bignonia Family, or Bignoniaceae.

California Juniper, Juniperus California. Juniperus California (California Juniper) is a species in the Cupressaceae (Cypress) family native to southwestern North America; as the name implies, it is mainly found in California, but also extends through most of Baja California, and a short distance into southern Nevada and western Arizona. It grows at moderate altitudes of 750-1,600 meter. It is a shrub or small tree reaching 3-8 meter (rarely to 10 meters) tall. It is much branched from the base. The shoots are thick compared to most junipers, 1.5-2-millimeter diameter. The leaves are arranged in opposite decussate pairs or whorls of three; the adult leaves are scale-like, 1-2-millimeter-long (to 5 millimeters on lead shoots) and 1-1.5 millimeter broad. The juvenile leaves (on young seedlings only) are needle-like, 5-10-millimeter long. The cones are berry-like, 7-13 millimeter in diameter, blue-brown with a whitish waxy bloom, and contain a single seed (rarely two or three); they are mature in about 8-9 months. The male cones are 2-4-millimeter-long and shed their pollen in early spring. It is largely dioecious producing cones of only one sex, but around 2% of plants are monoecious, with both sexes on the same plant. The bark is typically thin and appears to be “shredded.” In the garden, this plant is tolerant of many soils and requires minimal water once established. It becomes wider than tall so give it plenty of room.

Ocotillo or Candlewood, Fouquieria splendens. Ocotillo is one of the most striking plants in the desert, especially when its bright flame-like red flowers appear. It is hard to find examples of this shrub that are less than six feet tall. Many grow to 20 feet. After a rain, no matter the time of year, the Ocotillo is covered with dense green leaves. Within a few weeks, the leaves turn red or yellow and fall off.

California Fan Palm, Washingtonia filifera, also known as desert fan palm or California fan palm or California palm, is a flowering plant in the palm family (Arecaceae), and native to the southwestern U. S. and Baja California. Growing to 15-20 m (49-66 ft) tall by 3-6 m (10-20 ft) broad, it is an evergreen monocot with a tree-like growth habit. It has a sturdy columnar trunk and waxy fan-shaped (palmate) leaves. Washingtonia filifera is the only palm native to the Western United States and the country’s largest native palm. Primary populations are found in desert riparian habitats at spring- and stream-fed oases in the Colorado Desert and at a few scattered locations in the Mojave Desert. It is also found near watercourses in the Sonoran Desert along the Gila River in Yuma, along the Hassayampa River and near New River in Maricopa County, and in portions of Pima County, Pinal County, Mohave County (along the Colorado River) and several other isolated locations in Clark County, Nevada. It is a naturalized species in the warm springs near Death Valley and in the extreme northwest of Sonora (Mexico). It is also reportedly naturalized in the Southeast, Hawaii, the U. S. Virgin Islands, and Australia (New South Wales).

Pinyon Pine, the Single-leaf Pinyon (Pinus monophylla) is a pine in the pinyon pine group, native to the United States and northwest Baja, Mexico. Within California, it is found in the Sierras, the Transverse Range, and Peninsular Range. It occurs at moderate altitudes from 1200-2300 meter, rarely as low as 950 meters and as high as 2900 meter, in the aridest areas occupied by any pine in California. It is widespread and often abundant in this region, forming extensive open woodlands, often mixed with junipers. It is a small to medium size tree, reaching 10-20-meter-tall and with a trunk diameter of up to 80 centimeters, rarely more. However, it is very slow growing, reaching only 3 ft. in seven years. The bark is irregularly furrowed and scaly. It is the world’s only 1-needled pine; the leaves (‘needles’) are usually single (though trees with needles in pairs are found occasionally), stout, 4-6-centimeter-long, and grey-green to strongly waxy pale blue-green, with stomata over the whole needle surface (and on both inner and outer surfaces of paired needles). The cones are acute-globose, the largest of the true pinyons, 4.5-8-centimeter-long and broad when closed, green at first, ripening yellow-buff when 18-20 months old, with only a small number of very thick scales, typically 8-20 fertile scales. The cones open to 6-9 centimeter broad when mature, holding the seeds on the scales after opening. The seeds are 11-16-millimeter-long, with a thin shell, a white endosperm, and a vestigial 1-2-millimeter wing; they are dispersed by the Pinyon Jay, which plucks the seeds out of the open cones. The jay, which uses the seeds as a food resource, stores many of the seeds for later use by burying them. Some of these stored seeds are not used and are able to grow into new trees. Indeed, Pinyon seeds will rarely germinate in the wild unless they are cached by jays or other animals. The seeds (pine nuts) are also harvested and eaten by people.

Smoke Tree, Psorothamnus spinosus The Smokethorn (Psorothamnus spinosus) is a perennial legume tree common to the desert washes of the southern part of California, Arizona, and most of Baja California. The Smokethorn is also common to Joshua Tree National Park, where it is called the Smoketree. The twigs of the Smokethorn are slender and densely covered with fine whitish hairs. The flowers are lateral clusters of purple in June, with small-seeded pea pods as its fruit.

Palo Verde Tree Blue Palo Verde, Cercidium floridum. This tree has a kind of spooky grace about it. You may turn to it for shade while walking in a desert wash on a sunny day. The tree’s blue-green twigs and branches not only give it its name but also are how the tree gets its nutrients. It is well worth it after a rain in March or April to drive out in search of Blue Palo Verde when it is in flower. This is when this otherwise spooky-looking tree is in its glory.

Mesquite, Prosopis. Mesquite beans were a staple in the desert Cahuilla diet. The desert Cahuilla harvested the beans and ground them into a meal. The meal could be eaten right away or saved as a sort of cake and stored for future use. A good supply of mesquite beans or cakes could be traded to other Cahuilla families for other foods.

There are two kinds of mesquite in the Anza-Borrego area. Algaroba or honey mesquite, Prosopis glandulosa var. torreyana, is pictured above. It is the more common of the two. The other species is screwbean mesquite, Prosopis pubescens.

Mesquite likes water and is found in large stands in Coyote Canyon, near Clark Dry Lake, and in the south along San Felipe and Carrizo creeks. It is perhaps no accident that Indian villages once stood near such groves. Besides producing beans, the mesquite trees provided a home for edible insects such as grasshoppers and cicadas and game animals from small squirrels to rabbits and quail. Deer, antelope and mountain sheep are known to have been visitors.

We were invited to a ceremony by the village shaman. The heat was stifling and it was 8:30 pm in the Napo region of Ecuador. We were led to the shaman’s fire and over it was a cauldron of boiling white liquid which smelled faintly of urine. Several women were sitting around the cauldron chewing vigorously and spitting into it. There was a pile of assorted plants few of which could we identify. We were able to identify Banisteriopsis vine, Psychotri viridis leaves and a large pile of Ceiba speciosa seeds. Only then did we realize we were going to be drinking ayahuasca as part of a purification ceremony. When we awoke in the morning we compared notes on each other’s experiences. No two were alike but each was life changing in some way. The shaman offered us all of the Ceiba speciosa seeds we wanted and as we each loaded up we gave thanks to our host for an evening none of us would ever forget!

We offer 10 year old Ceiba speciosa trees that are shaped into Bonsai in 5 gal pots for $238.00. Also don’t forget to check out our Bonsai Kits to help you create an amazing Bonsai presentation!

Standard, single trunked Ceiba speciosa trees are priced as follows:

1 gal pots $87.00 5 gal pots: $135.00

Bonsai Forum

Background: Hi guys, well, as it says in the title I need some help. A tree on my school is going to be cut down (probably due to safety hazards, it’s quite spikey) in about three weeks, and seeing as I can do nothing about the actual cutting down bit I have decided to take some cuttings. I don’t have enough room for a full sized tree, so i thought, how about bonsai? So for the past couple of days I researched till I was all researched out and stumbled on this site. I read all the Beginner’s articles on here as well as on Bonsai4me, but I am still left with a few questions. So, here we go. (PS. I know this seems like a lot of trouble for a tree but I honestly love that spikey tree, it’s been on the school since before memory and a great deal of legends and lore has sprung up around it. To let it go to the grave without a fight just seems wrong to me.)
Questions: 1) What rooting soil should I use? I’ve heard of people using a peat and water slurry because the mixture doesn’t have the same brittling effects as just water. Is this true? What would you advise?
2) How thick should the cuttings be? How long? How many leaves? How many cuttings should I take to ensure i get at least a couple that survive? (my ideal bonsai is fully grown at one to one-and-a-half feet tall, if this helps any)
3) How many leaves should be stripped off the cutting?
4) Someone on here used a “mini greenhouse” for her Varigated Ficus Benjamina cuttings, should I do the same?
5) Indoors or outdoors? What type of sunlight and how much, ex: outside in the mornings but inside at night?
Useful Information: I live in Southern California, so the winters aren’t nearly as severe as elsewhere. However, last year in the deep of winter the condensation froze overnight, sealing our car. So it does get pretty nippy down here on occasion.
Pictures: 1) A picture of the tree this morning
2) A picture of this tree two years ago.
3) Fallen flower for identification purposes.
4) The school has recently begun chopping off limbs of the tree, and the tree has grown new bright green branches in retaliation.
5) Some smaller branches growing from an old scar.
6) You can see the new branches are bright green in comparison to the older more spikey branches in the background.
7) This is the new growth from which I will most likely be attaining my cuttings, as it is the leafiest and the most healthy-looking. (and also the lowest to the ground, im terrified of heights)
8 ) A seed pod the tree has recently grown (one of two). This is the first time i have seen the tree grow anything of the kind.

Life in China 2016: A Picture A Day, October 15 – The most beautiful tree blooming here right now is called the Silk Floss Tree. As with so many other species found here now, it is not native to China, but to South America; It can also be found in southern areas of the USA. The variety found here has various shades of pink flowers, but there is also a white variety. The trees are very tall and covered in blooms from late summer until mid-autumn or later! I actually have pictures from last year where they were still blooming here in December! They often lose their leaves before flowering, which helps the flowers stand out even more! After the flowers die, the seed pods develop; the seeds are encased in a silky white floss, which gives the tree its name. When not blooming, they can be identified by their thorny trunks. These trees are related to the Kapok trees which I shared a picture of back on April 10thhttp://www.myownchinesebrocade.com/picture-a-day-1/2016/4/10/kapok-or-mu-mian-cotton-tree-flowers

I don’t think I have any pictures of the seed pods for this tree, but it looks very similar to the ones of the Kapok trees.

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