Monday, September 18, 2006

More nature in the city.

Marianne and Kerry both wanted to know what kind of tree this is. Took a while to find it on Google. It is called Floss Silk Tree (Chorisia speciosa). The reason why it's called floss silk is that the fruits contain fluffy fiber. According to Wayne's Word (scroll down to Fibers From Seeds and Seed Pods) this fiber is difficult to spin and mainly used as waterproof filler for mattresses, softballs, life preservers, etc.

As you can see, the trunks and limbs of the trees are filled with thorns. They do not say "hug me". But there is a thornless relative, Chorisia speciosa "Majestic Beauty", that's suppose to flower as much.

The parrots that come to feed on the fruits are Yellow-Chevroned Parakeets.

Here are some more hummingbird pics:

The brown pods in the picture are old fruits. They don't show the white cottony fluff. I will have to remember to take photos of the new fruits and the parakeets in winter.

Here's a surprise. Well, at least a surprise to me. This common household plant bloomed! I've never seen this happened before.


Matt said...

awesome hummingbird pics! I didn't know there were parakeets in so cal? maybe there really is life past the eastern time zone.....Hmmm

janel said...

I've tried spinning the silk floss from the silk floss tree. It's also known as kapok. It's a hollow fiber, so it floats and it has absolutely no 'grab' to it, so it doesn't hold together at all. It is really soft though! The fun part is to see the fruits fall to the ground as a hard fruit and by the end of the day they've burst open into a pile of fluff! I have carded some with wool too, but the kapok just doesn't spin on its own.

Elemmaciltur said...

Wow, that's so cool. I've never seen a Hummingbird in my life in Europe doesn't help with that matter either. :-p

Marianne said...

Beautiful photos. love those trees, and really nice photos of the hummingbirds. Thanks for the information on the trees, I wasn't familiar with it's name but am familiar with kapok, so it's good to know just exactly where that comes from.

Kerry said...

Thanks for the hummingbird pics, we have some unusual fauna in Australia but no hummingbirds to my knowledge( but someone may know better than I).

My father was an upholsterer and used kapok to stuff matresses back in the first half of the 20th century.

MonkeyGurrrrrl said...

Puuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurty! I know the truth - you don't really live in the LA area. You have the transmorgrifyer working and you commute from some exotic locale to the local knit/spin events. Just because you like our company.