Tropicals forum: Silk Floss Tree - question

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Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
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Dutchlady1
Dec 26, 2011 8:37 AM CST
I am a great admirer of the fantastic Silk Floss trees (Ceiba speciosa) when they are in bloom, and about ten years ago I acquired a nice seedling.

This tree has never bloomed! I am at my wit's end, and have contemplated for several years cutting it down, thinking 'one more year' every time... It is about 20 ft tall and has a great spread of branches.

Today when I was doing some pruning to a bush underneath the tree, I saw what looked like buds..... Confused
All the Silk Floss trees in our area have either already finished blooming or are just about to finish, and they are all bare of leaves which don't tend to come out until after the flowering. My tree is covered in foliage! Shrug!

Is there hope? What should I do? It is taking up a sizable piece of precious real estate and if it won't bloom I will cut it down and plant something there that will! I hope someone can give me some insight.



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Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Dec 26, 2011 4:34 PM CST
Hetty: I don't know anything about the Ceiba speciosa but I envy those who live in zones where it grows! This site does say it's deciduous from Nov-Mar and that it blooms from September - December. Maybe your tree just has a mind of it's own? If/when those buds open I sure hope you will share photo's of the beautiful blooms!

http://lee.ifas.ufl.edu/Hort/GardenPubsAZ/ChorisiaCeibaSpeci...

This info says grafted trees are preferred because they bloom sooner: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/st164
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Name: Fred Rump
Naples, FL (Zone 10a)
enjoying what nature has to offer
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Fred
Jan 9, 2012 5:41 AM CST
Mine has never bloomed either and is probably dead from the repeated freezes over the last three years. It looks terrible but a few green leaves are still visible.
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
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Dutchlady1
Jan 9, 2012 6:14 AM CST
How old is your tree, Fred? I have had conflicting reports on mine, and of course I will know in a week or so which of them are going to prove to be correct.
Name: Fred Rump
Naples, FL (Zone 10a)
enjoying what nature has to offer
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Florida Orchids Tropicals Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Ponds Bromeliad Ferns Region: United States of America Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
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Fred
Jan 9, 2012 10:44 AM CST
I read somewhere that a silk floss needs to be 8 years old before bloom but I've also seen young trees in bloom. Mine is now about 6 years old but is on the way to a slkow death with these repeated freezes. I say 6 but it must have been at least a couple of years when I bought it.
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
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Dutchlady1
Jan 9, 2012 11:40 AM CST
I have seen 2 year old plants maybe less than 3 ft tall in bloom....which aggravates me no end.
The picture of the buds was taken about a week ago. Should be soon now and I'll know whether it gets to stay or gets the chop!
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
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Dutchlady1
Feb 8, 2012 2:09 PM CST
Well, it turned out to be a Kapok tree (Bombax ceiba) and it's nice, but it is taking up WAAAAAY too much space for something with insignificant white flowers.... so it will get the chop Crying
Name: Jonna
Mérida, Yucatán, México (Zone 13a)
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extranjera
Feb 8, 2012 2:24 PM CST
The Ceiba is a holy tree here in the Yucatan, the Maya believe that it connects heaven and the underworld. Thus, it's usually left alone even if it grows in the middle of a corn field. They can become really enormous trees, half a block in diameter and up to a hundred feet high. All that is great but I happen to be really allergic to the blowing 'cotton' that covers everything once a year. It's a sneezy, red eyed time for me.
A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
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Dutchlady1
Feb 8, 2012 2:26 PM CST
Yes I had read about it being a sacred tree to the Mayans. I hope chopping it down doesn't ruin my Karma for the year!! Whistling

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tropicbreeze
Feb 8, 2012 6:29 PM CST
Bombax ceiba has red flowers, not white. If yours did have white flowers it would be a different plant. And the "Ceiba" referred to in relation to the Mayans also wouldn't be Bombax ceiba. It's native to here. In fact, it's native from India, throughout South East Asia and Northern Australia. Any trees in Mexico would only have been a recent introduction. Here it was used by the Aborigines to make dug-out canoes. So, you shouldn't have any problems from the spirit world if you chop yours down. (Just to make sure you could always make a little canoe out of part of it afterwards Rolling on the floor laughing )
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
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Dutchlady1
Feb 8, 2012 7:13 PM CST
You are right - it's Ceiba pentandra I was referring to. I juggle too many plant names all day!!!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceiba_pentandra
Name: Jonna
Mérida, Yucatán, México (Zone 13a)
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extranjera
Feb 8, 2012 10:29 PM CST
Yep, that's the one we have here and that shows up in Mayan art and the codices. I can never remember latin names but went by the kapok, I know it is harvested from the tree here. I used to have a picture of our RV sitting under a huge one, it made the RV look like a toy. I should look for it.
A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.

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tropicbreeze
Feb 9, 2012 12:29 AM CST
Bombax ceiba is called "Kapok Tree" here, we also have a "Kapok Bush" totally unrelated small tree that has virtually identical seed pods with kapok around the seeds. But the huge one is referred to as "Tree" and the smaller one as "Bush" to distinguish between them.
Name: Hetty
Sunny Naples, Florida (Zone 10a)
Plumerias Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator Region: Florida Cat Lover Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents Tropicals
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Dutchlady1
Feb 9, 2012 5:08 AM CST
This thread perfectly illustrates the case for Botanical Names. I can't tell you how many plants and trees have identical common names, which are actually very different.
Of course it helps if you get the CORRECT Botanical name ... *Blush*

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