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Plantidote of the Day 2011-12-27 | Corrente

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Plantidote of the Day 2011-12-27

twig's picture

?

Mystery tree

This is a big (20' high), beautiful tree that is situated right next to one that was in bloom through much of November and December (see image below). So actually, we're talking about two trees. The flowering one has none of the wicked looking thorn things, so I'm guessing this is a boy/girl type of deal -- maybe??

?

The flowers look a bit like orchids (click on the image to enlarge it for a better view). I forgot to check for fragrance and the flowers are gone now. If they were fragrant, it wasn't a very noticeable scent. At some point, the trees produce pods filled with what looks like white cotton. These trees are all over here in Zone 10, but what are they??

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Readers, please send twig (twig4now@gmail.com) images and stories for the ongoing Plantidote of the Day series. In exchange, you'll win undying fame in the form of a hat tip! Plants growing in your garden, your house, or neighbor's yard, plants from the forest or farmers' market, plants you preserved, plants you prepared (wine; cider; tea; dried beans), plants you harvested (grains; chanterelles), plants you picked (flowers), plants you dried (herbs), plants you covet or hope to grow someday. Herbal remedies, propagation tips, new varieties, etc.. And if you can, include some solid detail about the plant, too -- a story, the genus and species, or where you got the seeds, or the recipe, or your grandmother gave it to you. Or challenge us with a "Name That Plant" mystery entry ... And please feel free to add corrections and additional information in the comments.

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Comments

Submitted by Alcuin on

Yes. The common name is Silk Floss tree or Kapok tree. It was formerly known as chorisa speciosa. You'll find it under both names if you do a web search. It is a tropical tree that is native to South America but it has been brought into South Florida and perhaps other warm areas of the United States. There are a number of the trees in Dade County, FL. When it blooms, it is stunning, like so many other flowering tropical trees. The royal poinciana and yellow tabebuia (tabebuia aurea) come to mind as examples.

The important thing is to never stop questioning. - Albert Einstein

twig's picture
Submitted by twig on

Yes, floss silk tree is the winning answer. Thank you both, and hat tips all around!!

"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better." -- Albert Einstein

Kathryn's picture
Submitted by Kathryn on

I remember, when I was in Florida, looking up at that tree and the size of the spikes on it, thinking -- evolution is awesome, and I wonder what that looked like in the Jurassic. Of course, being it was Florida, that was my inside voice.

Submitted by Alcuin on

"Of course, being it was Florida, that was my inside voice."

ROTFL!

The important thing is to never stop questioning. - Albert Einstein