red silk cottontree Bombacaceae Bombax ceiba
Leaf:Alternate, deciduous, palmately compound, 4 inches wide, with 5-7 narrow leaflets with entire edges; born on a long petiole.
Flower:Very showy red, to 4 inches across, with 5 strap-like petals, cupped with numerous stamens surrounding the stigma; appearing near the end of the twigs late winter to spring, when the leaves are absent.
Fruit:A 2 inch brown capsule that dehisce along 5 sutures to reveal black seeds encased in "cotton".
Twig:Stout, gray-brown with reddish domed buds; leaf scars large and rounded; numerous spines may be present.
Bark:Very unique, gray-brown or green-striped and smooth, with large spine-tipped corky-pyramidal projections, losing spines with age.
Form:A medium-sized tree with a stocky trunk and rounded crown.