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The Chorisia Speciosa (Floss Silk) is large, reaching to 60 feet (18.29 m) in height. Furthermore, it has large irregular horizontal branches, and a dense crown of leaves. Initially, it has a conical shape, becoming a broadly spreading “umbrella like” crown with age.
Also, the bulbous swollen trunk has green bark, becoming gray with age. The bark has blunt, warty, triangular spines, which are also on the branches. In addition, the light green leaves are palmate compound with 5 to 7 leaflets. Each leaflet is lance-shaped and about 5 inches (12.7 cm) long; they fall just before flowering.
In addition, pink, creamy white in the center flowers are funnel-shaped. The blooms are 4 to 6 inches (15.24 cm) in diameter and showy. Butterflies and other insects are attracted to the flowers for pollination. Moreover, fruits are woody, ovoid pods, about 8 inches (20.32 cm) long, filled with fluffy dirty-white fibers and bean-sized black seeds.
Outside the tropics, the tree seldom sets seeds. For propagation use tip cuttings. The floss is a substitute for true kapok, which yields an edible oil from the seeds. In cultivation, floss silk trees need well drained soils and regular watering for full flowering. Its unusual trunk, branches, attractive leaves and spectacular flowers make this an ideal choice as a specimen plant. Chorisia Speciosa (Floss Silk) is ideal for public open spaces, large gardens, or conservatories. It also does well in planters or in xerophytic gardens.
Other names: Ceiba Speciosa