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Ceiba aesculifolia - Pochote


Native to:



Central America

Dry plains or hillsides. Grows up to 1500 meters above sea level. Tree, up to 25 meters.

Ceiba aesculifolia - Pochote

Ecological value:

Grows well in rocky and dry and poor soils. Pollinated by bats. White flowers are also visited by insects and birds. Belongs to a genus of 20 species found in the Americas. Ceiba spp. are used as food plants for moth and butterfly caterpillars, and insects, including Bucculatrix ceibae.

Material uses:

Seed pods contain floss like fiber that has traditionally been used for
stuffing material in pillows etc. Excellent fire tinder material. Used for insulation. Maya traditionally used the fiber for weaving.

Edible uses:

Ripe, young fruits are cooked or stewed. Seeds, roasted.

Medicinal use:

Digestive uses, to treat ulcers.

Other details:

Grown as an ornamental. Genus name is of Taino origins, meaning ‘giant tree’. The species plays an important role in Amazonian tribes and Maya civilizations. Ceiba is the national tree of Guatemala.


Zac Pepere/Christine Facella


“Ceiba Aesculifolia (Kunth) Britten & Baker F. | Plants of the World Online | Kew Science.” n.d. Plants of the World Online. Accessed November 6, 2023.
“Ceiba Aesculifolia - Useful Tropical Plants.” n.d. Accessed November 6, 2023.
Uphof. J. C. Th., ‘Dictionary of Economic Plants’, Weinheim, 1959
“Malvaceae: Ceiba Aesculifolia Subsp. Aesculifolia.” n.d. Spadefoot Nursery. Accessed November 28, 2023.
Image source: Caruche.

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