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.
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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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