14 August 2010


This is a handsome variegated Ceiba pentandra (common name: Kapok, Cotton Tree) planted at HortPark. Even from a distance, one would not missed its beautiful tiered look and variegated white leaves.

Unfortunately this one had a slanted trunk because when it was younger, the contractor did not do a proper job of staking it. Anyway, it has corrected its growth and is growing upright.

Look at the trunk of thorns. It looks nasty.But look at the branches. The thorns stop when the stems branch into leaves.

Anyway, I planted it here previously because we had a concept of a garden of thorns, but eventually this was shelved. For those who do not know about the Kapok tree, other than its commercial use as cotton wool, it has a lot of stories associated with ghosts and spirits. There is one humongous one at the Singapore Botanic Gardens and stories about this tree are bountiful, if you speak to the right people.

For more botanical information on the Kapok tree from the Family Bombacaceae, check out the link below:
  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kapok
  2. http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/kapok.htm
  3. http://www.stjohnbeachguide.com/Kapok.htm
NB on 9 Sep 11: I found out that this is actually a variegated Ceiba speciosa (synonym: Chorisia speciosa; common name: Silk Floss Tree; Family: Malvaceae), not C. pentandra.