The branches tend to be horizontal and are also covered with prickles. The leaves are composed of five to seven long leaflets. The flowers are creamy-whitish in the center and pink towards the tips of their five petals. They measure 10-15 cm in diameter and their shape is superficially similar to hibiscus flowers. Their nectar is known to attract insects such as monarch butterflies, which perform pollination. C. speciosa flowers are in bloom between February and May. The flowers of the related C. chodatii are similar in form and size, but their color goes from creamy white centers to yellow tips.
The fruits are lignous ovoid pods, 20 cm long, which contain bean-sized black seeds surrounded by a mass of fibrous, fluffy matter reminiscent of cotton or silk.
Information link and source...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceiba_speciosa and here: http://www.desert-tropicals.com/Plants/Bombacaceae/Chorisia_speciosa.html
Zones: 9-12. Protect initially from strong sun. Once established, protect from extreme frost. It's definitely a cool tree to have around your home or garden....it just needs a tiny amount more of attention...and is similiar to a Jacaranda's needs here in the desert southwest. Until next time, happy gardening!