Ceiba speciosa, commonly known as the silk floss tree, is a species of deciduous tree native to South America, specifically Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay. It belongs to the family Malvaceae and can reach a height of up to 60 meters (200 feet) in the wild.
The tree has a straight, cylindrical trunk covered with spines and gray bark that can become very thick in older specimens. The leaves are large, palmately compound, and deciduous, typically measuring 20-30 cm long.
Ceiba speciosa produces large, showy flowers that bloom in the summer months. The flowers are 10-15 cm in diameter, and come in shades of pink, purple, and white. The tree's fruit is a large, woody capsule filled with seeds that are dispersed by the wind.
In addition to its ornamental value, Ceiba speciosa has several practical uses. The tree's wood is strong and durable, making it a popular material for construction and furniture-making. The fibers from the tree's seed pods can be used to make rope, while the tree's sap is used in traditional medicine to treat various ailments.
The tree is also considered sacred in many South American cultures, and is often used in traditional ceremonies and rituals.