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Ceiba speciosa


Ceiba speciosa

Family Name: Malvaceae
Common Name: Silk Floss Tree


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants)
Plant Growth Form Tree
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Plant Shape Conical
Maximum Height 18 m


Native Distribution Tropical America (Brazil, Argentina)
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Non-native

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Conical-shaped tree, able to grow up to about 9 - 18 m tall.
Crown As the tree matures, it will develop a rounded, umbrella-like crown. 
Trunk Trunk and branches are covered with stout triangular spines, bark is green when young and turns to grey when matured. 
Foliage Light green leaves, palmately divided into 5 - 7 lanceolate leaflets measuring 12 cm long and with serrate margins, leaves are usually shed before the flowering period starts.
Flowers Showy pink 5-petaled funnel-shaped flowers with yellowish-white throats, each flower about 10 - 15 cm long.
Fruit Fruit is a dehiscent pear-shaped to oblong pod about 20 cm long, inside contains white cotton-like matter with black seeds.
Taxonomy Removed from the Bombacaceae family to the Malvaceae family and renamed to this current scientific name.
Etymology Genus Ceiba is from a vernacular South American name for the silk-cotton tree. Species speciosa means showy and handsome.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers
Landscape Uses Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Butterfly-Attracting
Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna)

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Fast to Moderate
Rootzone Tolerance Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils
Propagation Method Seed


Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Foliar Type Compound
Foliar Margin Serrate / Toothed
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 3.0 (Tree - Intermediate Canopy)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower Colour(s) Pink, White
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) Green
Fruit Type Dehiscent Dry Fruit

Image Repository



Master ID 1509
Species ID 2802
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 28 November 2022.