Thursday, November 15, 2012

Tree Thursday - Floss-Silk Tree

It’s back --  Tree Thursday!  And today we’re looking at some fall color in Fort Lauderdale…

Floss-Silk Tree
Ceiba speciosa, formerly known as Chorisia speciosa

Driving up Bayview Drive last week, I spotted a Floss-Silk tree in full bloom and thought that would be a great tree for Tree Thursday.  There were also a few blooming on the west side of the Oakland Park Intracoastal Bridge.  The first thing that I realized as I started looking up information on the Chorisia speciosa was that the scientific name had been changed to Ceiba speciosa.  Looking a little further I found out that the genus Chorisia had been incorporated into the genus Ceiba.  Anyway…

Floss-Silk (or Silk Floss) tree is an awkwardly branched 30-60 foot tree with pale green leaves palmately divided into 5-7 pointed leaflets.  The most spectacular feature of the tree, besides the flowers, is the bulbous green trunk that is covered with big blunt warty triangular spines.   The trunk turns gray as the tree gets older.  Floss-Silk trees typically drop their leaves just before they put on their spectacular autumn display of five-petaled flowers. The petals vary from pale pink to rose to purple or burgundy at the tips. 

Floss-Silk tree is native to Brazil and Argentina, but it is cultivated in many tropical areas. It also grows well in parts of southern California.

Growth Rate – Fast
Salt Tolerance – Medium
Drought Tolerance – High

Tree along Bayview Drive

Trees on Oakland Park Blvd at Intracoastal Bridge

Picture of leaf from internet:

For more information:

Gene Dempsey, City Forester
Environmental Services
Office - (954) 828-5785  Fax - (954) 828-4745

Think before you print!