On the Way Home from Farmers Market—Going, Going, Gone
March 14, 2016
Cutting through Selby Gardens’ administration-building parking lot last Saturday, I paused to admire and photograph some spent flowers on the pavement. Eventually I looked up to see some flowers still on the tree. Botanist-husband David tells me this is a Bombax ceiba, also called the kapok or cotton tree. “It’s a large tropical drought-deciduous tree that flowers shortly before leafing out with the return of the rainy season,” he says. From a University of Florida web page I learned that although this tree is often called a kapok tree because of the cottony fibers of the fruit, the true kapok tree—the one whose fibers were once used in life jackets—is not this one but Ceiba pentandra. I’ve arranged my photographs below in descending order of the flowers’ age.