The Ceiba Tree
Tuesday, May 3, 2011 at 9:36AM
[chuck] in Ceiba pentandra, Science, Vieques

There is a large, beautiful ceiba tree (Ceiba pentandra (L.) Gaertn.) growing in a park on the northern coast of Vieques near the airport. It is reported to be over 300 years old. I was unable to find out anything about the origin or local significance of this tree, although everyone said we should go see it. What I do know is that Ceiba pentandra is a unique species that occurs in all three tropical regions of the world, i.e. neotropics, tropical Asia, tropical Africa, is culturally important to many ethnic groups, e.g. the Maya, and produces fluffy seed fibers ("kapok") that are used to stuff pillows and wrap around blowgun darts - among other things. 

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