ceiba speciosa


Ceiba speciosa was named Chorisia speciosa, It is known as silk tree, too. It is a deciduous tree native to the tropical-forest and subtropical forests of South America. It belongs to the family of Malvaceae, such as baobab and kapok. The trunk is similar to a bottle: it has conical prickles which serve to store water for dry times. It grows fast when it rains a lot, but can resist drought for long time. The flowers are white, similar to hibiscus flowers. They attract insects such as monarch butterflies. The fruit contain black seeds surrounded by fibrous matter resembling cotton or silk. It is employed in packaging, to make canoes, to make paper, and ropes. From the seeds it is possible to obtain vegetable oil. The silk tree is cultivated mostly for ornamental purposes. These images are taken in the botanical garden of Palermo in Sicily.

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