© Robert Siegel
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Ceiba

Order: Malvales
Family: Malvaceae
Genus: Ceiba
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October 11, 2008
This page was motivated by a single tree in the Stanford Inner Quad.

Silk floss tree

ceiba

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I have long been struck by the unusual nature of the tree: In fall, it exploded with beautiful pink flowers - largely in the absence of leaves. It is a magnet for hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees. Thanks to Herb Fong for helping me to identify it.

The naming/classification of the tree is surprising and confusing.

OK. OK. The tree is:

Ceiba speciosa

(formerly classified as Chorisia speciosa).
Ceiba is pronounced "SAY-ba".
Common names include:
Silk floss tree
Floss silk tree
Floss silktree.
There are also some references called it a kapok tree. However, kapok most typically refers to the related. Ceiba pentandra. There are some references called it a bombax tree. However, there is a separate, but related Bombax genus (including confusingly Bombax ceiba.)

Another closely related genus is Adansonia which is comprised of the eight species of Baobab tree.

These three genera were formerly part of the Bombax family Bombacaceae.
Bombacaceae was shown to be a heterogeneous group (polyphyletic) and these three genera were reassigned to the much larger Malvaceae (mallow or hibiscus) family. This family is apparently also under scrutiny.
The three genera are part of the subfamily Bombacoideae.

Ceiba in bloom

ceiba

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Ceiba flower close-up

ceiba

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One flower

ceiba

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Silk floss

arizona garden

Silk floss
Arizona Cactus Garden, Stanford
With Photographing Nature class
October 7, 2017
Canon Rebel T5i
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Silk floss

arizona garden

Silk floss
Arizona Cactus Garden, Stanford
With Photographing Nature class
October 7, 2017
Canon 7Dmark2
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Silk floss

cactus

Silk floss
Arizona Cactus Garden, Stanford
With Photographing Nature class
October 8, 2016
Canon 7Dmark2
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cactus

Cactus
Arizona Cactus Garden, Stanford
With Nature Through Photography class
August 21, 2016
Canon Rebel T5i
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arizona garden

Silk floss
Arizona Cactus Garden, Stanford
With Photographing Nature class
January 19, 2019
Canon 7Dmark2
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+ Flowers

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+ Lobelia

+ Buddhas hand

+ Tulips

+ Protea

+ Nepenthe

+ Rafflesia

+ Flowers of Borneo

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| Robert's home page | Flowers | Orchids | Protea | Lobelia | Top of page |

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Modified: May 3, 2019
Created: October 11, 2008
Contact: siegelr@stanford.edu
All pictures are protected by copyright. Do not use without permission.