Have you seen one of these trees? It’s a silk cotton tree, also known as a Kapok tree.
There are a couple of these trees on the Coronado Public Library grounds so I’ve been watching them for a few years. The thing that made me take notice was the pod that hangs from the tree. It looks like a fat sausage. Once the pod matures, it pops open. The inside expands into a big cotton ball which eventually blows apart in the wind. Here’s a cotton ball hanging. Pooooof!
There was cotton fluff lying all over the grass, and I noticed that a seed was at the center of each tuft.
Below is a Silk Cotton tree pod that has opened up. I found this pod on the ground in Balboa Park a couple of months ago and brought it home. It was hard and bright green and the skin looked like an avocado. It sat outside for a couple of months and finally started to transform last week. Yesterday I went out and found the pod completely opened up in sections with the cotton center still intact. I was struck by nature’s design so I brought the whole thing into the house and laid it out on the dining room table as you see it here. The cotton interior is starting to expand and it’s looking like a felt ear of corn. Mi Esposo is worried that it’s going to explode in the house and has asked me to remove it, but it’s still on the table. I’m hoping it pops like corn. I’d like to come home to a cotton wonderland in the house!