Ceiba Speciosa Seeds (Chorisia speciosa)
Ceiba speciosa is also known as Silk Floss tree. It is popularly known by its synonym Chorisia speciosa. Its seeds are black in colour, bean-sized and surrounded by a mass of fibrous, fluffy matter reminiscent of silk and cotton. Therefore, the plant gets its name due to its silk floss character.
Ceiba speciosa Trees
Ceiba speciosa is a deciduous tree which is native to tropical and subtropical forests of South America. It has several common names including, Drunken stick, Tree of refuge and Sheltering tree.
The Ceiba speciosa tree reaches up to 25 meters in height. It has a bottle-shaped trunk that is up to 2 meters wide. The tree trunk is studded with sharp, thick and conical-shaped prickles that discourage wild animals from climbing up trees. The branches are also covered with prickles. The leaves comprises 5-7 long leaflets while flowers are pink at the tips of petals and creamy whitish at the center. Their flowers usually shows resemblance with hibiscus flowers. The nectar of flowers attract insects and birds such as hummingbird for pollination. The fruits are capsules, ovoid in shape, ligneous and contains seeds. The fruits can be described as Avocado or pineapple guava shaped that may grow 6-8 inches in length. Once the capsule is completely ripe the capsule fall away to reveal masses of silky white hairs. This flossy silk resembles cotton.
How to grow Ceiba speciosa
Ceiba speciosa can be propagated by grafting or through seeds.
Propagation of Ceiba speciosa through seeds
Ceiba speciosa can be propagated through seeds easily. The seeds are sown as soon as they ripen, generally from spring to early summer. They should be sown in semi-shaded position in seedbeds or individual containers. A thin layer of compost soil should be added to cover the sown seeds. The seedlings sprouts within 5-8 days.
Propagation of Ceiba speciosa through Grafting
Ceiba speciosa can be propagated through grafting. The grafting of trees highly demanded as they bloom flowers earlier at a smaller size. There are two grafting selections are available:
- Majestic Beauty: Majestic Beauty has rich pink colour flowers. Majestic Beauty is grown frequently as compared to Los Angeles Beautiful variety.
- Los Angeles Beautiful: Los Angeles Beautiful has wine red colour flowers.
How to care Ceiba speciosa Seedlings
Ceiba speciosa seedlings prefer well drained and fertile soil with adequate amount of water. It grows in a USDA zones of 9-11, as the sapling are frost sensitive. It needs full to part sun exposure. Chorisia speciosa is highly resistant to drought and moderate cold when mature. As it is a deciduous tree, it becomes completely bare of leaves and flower during winter season.
Transplantation of Ceiba speciosa seedlings
Transplantation of seedling should be perm when the seedlings becomes 5-6 cm tall. Generally, seedlings grow quickly and becomes ready to plant out into their permanent position within 4 months.
Uses of Ceiba speciosa Seeds
Ceiba speciosa seeds are cover with silk floss which is detached from seeds to make cotton or silk. At one time this floss was used to pad pillows, jackets and stuffing. The seeds are also used to obtain vegetable oil.