Spectacular Silk Floss Tree!

Thorny Trunk of Tree

Thorny Trunk of Tree

Tree in Early Spring

Tree in Early Spring

Close-up of Branches and Pods

Close-up of Branches and Pods

Pod Bursting Open to Reveal Silk

Pod Bursting Open to Reveal Silk

Cottony Silk Ball on Tree

Cottony Silk Ball on Tree

The Silk Floss Tree is spectacular year round!  It is native to Brazil and Argentina, and can be quickly recognized by its spiny trunk.  In Fall the tree drops its leaves and becomes covered with clouds of pink flowers.  The lily-like flowers produce rich nectar and attract abundant butterflies.  By early spring (before leafing out) it is covered with avocado-like seed pods filled with cottony silk.  This exotic tree puts on quite a show!  It grows well in mild climates like Florida and California.  I want to plant one soon!

About Pam
Richard and Pam lived in the San Francisco Bay Area 14 years (1987-1999 and 2008-2011). They lived in Florida 13 years previously, until returning in July 2011 to present. They hope their photography will encourage you to get out and discover nature's beauty in your own backyard, parks, and wild places. Click on any pictures on this blog to see them full size with additional details.

18 Responses to Spectacular Silk Floss Tree!

  1. elisa ruland says:

    Yes, please plant a silk tree soon, so we can follow it’s progress through your blog. I’d love that!

  2. aliceschmidt says:

    Upon first glance the pods look like chrysalis but must be much larger. I can only imagine the sight and aroma! Where in Orlando is it? We will be passing through tomorrow… Thanks, Pam!

  3. Kongo says:

    So THAT’s the name of the tree. I see one all the time in Balboa Park and never knew the correct name. Great images.

  4. redhairedgal says:

    Just what Kongo said, except I’m in northern California (there’s one in the Arizona Garden at Stanford University) and also wondered about the name of this “mystery” tree. Thanks for teaching me something new today; I’m so glad I found your blog!

    • Pam says:

      Nice to meet you! I didn’t realize there was one in the Arizona Garden, but when I visited there, I didn’t realize what a silk floss tree was. Have you been to the UC Santa Cruz Botanical Garden? I’ll start posting in the next couple of months about the flowers there. They are incredible! Right now we are getting ready for a desert trip to Palm Springs.

  5. Very cool Pam! How did I not know about this tree? And I lived in Florida! Seeing your photos I think we just saw this tree in Mexico. Could that be possible? ~Terri

    • Pam says:

      You probably did see it in Mexico! I always wondered what the tree was with the spiky trunk – now I know its story. I’ve started spotting them several places around town. Can’t wait to see them bloom in Fall.

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