I hate summer! I hate working out in it and sweating in the heat. Every year I look forward to Autumn, when the sweltering ends and I don't have to get up super AM early to go to work to beat the heat. Today I SAW evidence that summer is near the end, Floss Silk or Chorisia trees are starting to bloom! The first photo I took in Glendale, the others are lifted from the internet.
I will always call them Chorisia (KOR-EE-SEE-a) but THEY(the botanists) recently changed the botanical name from Chorisia speciosa to Ceiba speciosa. Whatever! The tree's flowering signals the change from summer to autumn! Chorisia are native to South America and grow very well here in SoCal. Research says they'll grow to 80 feet but I have only seen them grow to about 50 feet here. The large pink flowers can be between 4-6 inches in size.
They have wicked thorns on their trunks to store water in dry times. And those trunks are green with abundant chlorophyl to be able to photosynthesize even when the tree is leafless. That makes sense because I have often seen these trees confused. They're supposed to lose all their leaves in winter, put them on in spring, and flower in autumn. But sometimes they'll be half in flower and half in leaf, or all flowers and no leaves or any other unusual combinations. Older trees are often grayish.
After flowering they produce a large avocado-ish looking seed pod. Inside are seeds held together by kapok(white fluffy stuff). Pillows once were stuffed with kapok here(they might still do so in South America). Now mostly polyester fiberfill is used. The kapok helps the wind catch the seeds to blow them around, thereby spreading the tree to more locations.
Enjoy the flowering of the Chorisia tree. But don't slip on the flowers. To me it is more than pretty because I know that summer is almost over!