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Ceiba speciosa - Floss silk tree


Native to:



Central South America - Argentina to Peru.

Alluvial plains and valley floors, 400-1600 meters above sea level. 20 meters tall.

Ceiba speciosa - Floss silk tree

Ecological value:

Fast growing - can reach up to 6 meters in two years. Prefers fertile alluvial plains and valley floors in full sun. Drought tolerant. Attracts pollinators including butterflies but genus known to support a wide range of wildlife.

Material uses:

Primarily cultivated for its seed floss which is used as stuffing for pillows etc. Quality not as good as C. pentandra. Bark used to make ropes. The wood is lightweight, with little durability, susceptible to wood-boring insects, Used to make bowls, boxes, canoes and paper pulp.

Edible uses:

A vegetable oil can be pressed from the seed. Other species in genus are intercropped as shade tree for coffee and cacao. Also used in the drink for Ayahuasca.

Medicinal use:

Little info on this species, but other species in genus have medicinal properties (Look at Ceiba pentandra).

Other details:

Can be grown as an ornamental. Formerly known as Chorisia speciosa. When young, the trunk is green due to high chlorophyll content and can perform photosynthesis. In the same family as the Baobab tree.



“Ceiba Speciosa (A.St.-Hil., A.Juss. & Cambess.) Ravenna | Plants of the World Online | Kew Science.” n.d. Plants of the World Online. Accessed January 15, 2024.
“Ceiba Speciosa - Useful Tropical Plants.” n.d. Accessed January 15, 2024.
Barwick. M., ‘Tropical and Subtropical Trees - A Worldwide Encyclopaedic Guide’, Thames & Hudson, London, 2004
Lorenzi. H., ‘Brazilian Trees. Volume 1. 4th Edition’, Instituto Plantarum De Estudos Da Flora; Brazil, 2002
“Ceiba Speciosa.” 2023. Wikipedia. November 21, 2023.
Image sources: Giuseppe ME, Peak Hora

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