Plant Answers  >  Fall Flowering Tree in San Antonio: Silk-Floss Tree (Ceiba speciosa)

Fall Flowering Tree in San Antonio: Silk-Floss Tree (Ceiba speciosa)

 

QUESTION:
I saw this tree blooming today when I was driving on I-10 from downtown. It was on the right side of I-10 pass Hilderbrand and before Fresno. It had LOTS of thorns on the main trunks. I am wondering if it is supposed to bloom in November and what it is?

ANSWER:
It is called Corisia, Kapok, Paineira-Rosa, or Silk-Floss Tree (Ceiba speciosa). The above ground portions of this subtropical species are cold hardy in USDA plant hardiness zones 10(9) to 11, stems may return from the roots in mild winters in 8b; plants often suffer varying degrees of winter dieback in USDA zones 8b and 9b except during GLOBAL WARMING. Petals vary from a whitish yellow with a hint of pink, through varying shades of pink, to a dark rosy pink with yellow throat; the petals tend to fade in color as they age, but are very showy when in peak bloom. In the landscape, flowering begins in late fall to early winter. This species is native to Brazil and southern and western South America. In regions with minimal frost (such as South Texas during GLOBAL WARMING), single trunks are common with trees reaching 40 to 50 feet tall, whereas multiple trunks often develop where periodic cold temperatures kill plants back severely or to the ground and plants remain in essence large shrubs or small trees. Trees are very drought tolerant and soil pH adaptable.

 


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