Friday, October 9, 2009

Ceiba speciosa

When I first encountered this tree on my trip to Barcelona in April '07, I thought it was a baobab (Adansonia), though the climate was all wrong for it, and the specimens below hardly seemed likely to reach the massive size typical to that African tree. Also, baobabs don't typically have the thorns (technically "emergences") that this tree exhibits.



The tree isn't baobab - it's Ceiba speciosa, or silk floss tree, but they both belong to the same family, Bombaceae (kapok - another species of Ceiba - is also in this family). Ceiba is native to South America and typically has the bottle-shaped trunk you see above, as well as distinctive thorns. It can also tend to lean, thus meriting the common Spanish name of palo borracho, which means 'drunken tree.'



As forbidding as this tree looks when it's defoliated, they are quite striking when covered in pink blossoms.

8 comments:

Bay Area Tendrils Garden Travel said...

Oh I love this tree, ever since I photographed a beautiful specimen at the Alice Keck garden in Santa Barbara. I still call it Chorisia ... despite botanical name change. Oh yes, quite the renegade!!

Sue Swift said...

I was in Barcelona last year, and posted about some of the plants i found there, particularly in the Parco Guell - but missed this completely. Where was it exactly?

Found you through Blotanical. Hope we'll see you around there a lot.

azplantlady said...

Hello,

I came upon your blog at Blotanical. I love this tree. We grow it here in Arizona. I agree, it is a strange tree, but so beautiful when flowering.

Autumn Belle said...

I like its bottle shaped trunk. The flowers looks gorgeous based on your picture. Welcome to Blotanical. It's great to have you here.

Jennifer G. Horn said...

Wow! So glad to have joined Blotanical! Thanks for the comments!

Jennifer G. Horn said...

BTW - the Ceibas I saw were near the harbor -- along the water in open spaces between Montjuic and Las Ramblas.

Invertir en oro said...

Wow! great blog. I know you went surfing one past New Years Day, so this is sans wet suit, san boots, gloves hat and so on. Congrats.

Generic Viagra said...

I have the same tress in my backyard, I love them because they are too beautiful,I want to visit this city and see these ones!