Alexis authored today’s entry:
Ceiba insignis, sometimes still called by the synonym Chorisia insignis, is a deciduous tree native to the dry forests of western South America. Commonly, it is known as the white floss-silk tree, chorry, or white dragon. Oftentimes, the tree fattens significantly towards the base, a fact that likely caused the species to garner the nickname South American bottle tree. The sharp prickles seen on the trunk can become over an inch wide as the tree grows and its trunk widens. When young, the bark is green but as the tree ages it turns grey. When fruits (from Trees of Miami) reach maturity, they split open to reveal seeds that are surrounded by silky white hairs. These have been used as a stuffing for pillows and life vests.
This species is quite similar to Ceiba speciosa, and they may be difficult to differentiate when not in flower. Usually, Ceiba insignis has white flowers with golden throats and Ceiba speciosa‘s flowers are pink with white throats. However, variation does occur and sometimes Ceiba speciosa may produce paler flowers or Ceiba insignis may have slightly pink flowers (ref: Krishen’s Trees of Delhi (2006)).