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Silk Floss Tree

Ceiba speciosa

Also known as


Full Sun
Moderate care
Moderate watering
Frost Hardy


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size








3 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

Silk Floss Tree Overview

Considered one of the most beautiful trees in the world, when in full bloom, this spectacular tree is hard to miss with its clouds of large, flimsy lily-like pink flowers cascading from the green branches. Often grown in subtropical areas in gardens or as street trees.

Common problems with Silk Floss Tree

Young plants are susceptible to scale insects, keep the plants healthy to prevent attached by scale insects.

Silk Floss Tree Companion Plants

Under-plant with sub-tropical, shade loving plants.

How to harvest Silk Floss Tree

Generally not harvested

How to propagate Silk Floss Tree


Sow seeds when temperatures warm up in late spring and early summer.

Special features of Silk Floss Tree

Autumn colour

The tree flowers in autumn.

Drought resistant

Can go for long periods without water once it is established and more than 3 to 5 years old.

Attracts birds

Hummingbirds are attracted to the flower nectar.

Attracts useful insects

The flowers attract pollinators like bees.

Other uses of Silk Floss Tree

Ornamental foliage & flowers

Timber, paper, rope and stuffing.

The cotton inside the capsules, although not of as good quality as that of the kapok tree, has been used as stuffing. The wood can be used to make canoes, as wood pulp, and to make paper. The bark has been used to make ropes.


From the seeds it is possible to obtain vegetable oil (both edible and industrially useful).


Mostly for ornamental purposes. Outside of private gardens around the world, it is often planted along urban streets in subtropical areas such as in Spain, South Africa, Australia, northern New Zealand and the southern USA, although its prickled trunks and limbs require safety buffer zones, especially around the trunks, in order to protect people and domesticated animals from its prickles.

Flowering trees

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