New Post, Tree love

#ThursdayTreeLove-The drunken tree in all of its pink glory

Genus- Ceiba Speciosa / Chorisia Speciosa

Common Name- Drunken Tree / Silk Floss Tree / Tree of Refuge

Ceiba speciosa or the Silk Floss tree has amazing pink blooms which cover the tree completely and one can spot these beautiful trees in various corners of Delhi/NCR these days.

The trunk is an amazing green color which reminds me of the witch from Wicked but is actually due to high chlorophyll content. When the leaves fall out, the tree is still able to perform photosynthesis and sustain itself. The tree grows thorny heads on the trunk in self defence from grazing animals and other threats which might hurt it. As soon as the tree feels secure, the thorns dry out and fall out. Isn’t this an amazing instance of natural intelligence?

This tree bears cotton like filaments which burst out of the fruit pod and look like floss, hence the name. The cotton is used for stuffing small pillows and stuff.

ceiba speciosa-thorns-pink-sunder nagar-new delhi-nature walk

Its fondly known as the Drunken tree as when the flowers cover the tree in entirety, the leaves fall off and it seems the tree is reveling in this glory. Its said it takes off it leaves just as a drunken person sheds off his clothes under the influence 😉

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ceiba speciosa-thorns-pink- drunken tree-sunder nagar-new delhi-nature walk

Another anecdote talks about the legend of the Gods who were plagued by the demons. The world comprised of the Gods and demons and the latter wanted to destroy the former to become the sole owner of the earth. Their plan was to kill the wives of the Gods so that there could be no more children. The Gods hid their wives in the wide trunk of the Silk Floss tree and since then its also known as the Tree of Refuge in some parts of the world.

A variation of this tale is that the Gods turned their wives into the flowers of the Silk Floss tree and themselves into Hummingbirds. I found this to be such a romantic story that I am decreeing this one as my favorite.

Did you know that even today, the flowers are visited in droves by the Hummingbirds who love to suck the sweet nectar of the flowers? Sunbirds are the other avian species that adore this tree for the nectar.

Do you have this tree in your neighborhood? Have you ever seen this tree?


I had gone on a nature walk with #wonderfulwanderers where I heard all these amazing anecdotes about the trees of Delhi and more.

Joining in the #Thursdaytreelove linky with Parul

My previous post for this linky can be found here

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8 thoughts on “#ThursdayTreeLove-The drunken tree in all of its pink glory

  1. The flowers are pretty. The name Drunken tree caught my attention. Now howcome a tree might be called a drunken tree was my first thought. Thanks to your detailed description and interesting stories, the mystery is solved. Your nature walks must be truly wonderful.

    1. Yeah the flowers really grab the eyeballs due to the size, color and look. They look stunning and I can’t resist shooting them every season

      The drunken tree was strange for me too and I thought this anecdote must be shared

  2. wow! I have never about these stories on the tree. I don’t think I have seen it too. Love that you found out such beautiful tales and shared with us. The ways the thorns show up is super interesting. It’s great how nature preserves and protects. Thank you Shalini for educating us all and joining. I hope to see you back on the 14th.

    1. I totally love being a part of this series Parul and try and get in as and when I can. I love trees and have been meaning to catalogue the ones I see around me. This is a great way for me to do so.

      The anecdotes are courtesy the tree guide who really had loads of them to share with us. I am happy this post is being appreciated so much. I had never thought to stop and wonder at the thorns on some of these trees while others didnt have any. Amazing nature and its intelligence system! 🙂

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