Whether you compare the color to Shrek, the Jolly Green Giant, or halloween-costume witch face paint, the color of the Ceibo tree is impressive. We wanted to try to harvest some seeds to bring back to Nicaragua and went on a search to find some.
After much research (dissecting a Ceibo flower) it was determined by the Hip-E Habitat lead scientist, Kim Obermeyer, that the Ceibo tree reproduces without seeds! During the investigation we also meet Shrimp Boy and give a tour of the “Bam Boom-Boom Ecolodge”.
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I wanted to clear up the confusion surrounding the reproduction of the Ecuadorian Ceibo tree we found and also uphold my responsibilities as Hip-E Habitat Lead Scientist. From “Trees: an illustrated identifier” by Tony Russel and Catherine Cutler (Anness Publishing 2004): The fragrant flowers appear in spring when the tree in leafless (if deciduous). They are15cm/6in across, woolly and white. The fruit (seed) pod is 15cm/6in long, narrowly elliptical, leathery and dark.
There you have it. Just on a side-note, the Ceibo tree is the source of kapok (which is actually the fluff attached to each seed in the above-mentioned pod) which was the main stuffing material for life-jackets, pillows and mattresses back in the day. Fascinating, huh? OK, hope I didn’t over do the nerdy-biologist thing there.