Chorisia insignis


C. speciosa



Local Names

Budha/ White silk floss tree




Native to South America, Peru, Brazil and Argentina (Introduced to Pakistan)

DNA Barcode


Chorisia insignis HBK. is an ornamental plant known as the white floss silk tree, belongs to family Bombacaceae. It is native to South America, Peru, Brazil and Argentina. Chorisia was named in honor of the botanical artist and traveler Ludwig I. Choris (1795–1828, 19th century).
Chorisia insignis HBK. is mainly cultivated for its ornamental brilliant flowers and for the silky white fibre (or floss) that is obtained from the ripened fruits. This floss has been used to stuff cushions, pillows and vests which explain the common name of this tree, “floss silk tree”
The flavonoidal content and the biological activity of the leaves of the plant were previously investigated.
The present work includes the botanical study of the different organs of C. insignis HBK. determination of certain pharmacopoeial constants of the leaves, DNA fingerprinting as well as investigation of the protein and amino acids contents of the seeds. This study was carried out to confirm the identity and purity of C. insignis HBK. cultivated in Egypt. The "cotton" inside the capsules, although not as good quality as that of the kapok tree, has been used as stuffing (density = 0.27 g/cm3). The wood can be used to make canoes, as wood pulp, and to make paper. The bark has been used to make ropes. From the seeds it is possible to obtain vegetable oil (both edible and industrially useful).

The floss silk tree is cultivated mostly for ornamental purposes. Outside of private gardens around the world, it is often planted along urban streets in subtropical areas such as in Spain, South Africa, Australia, northern New Zealand and the southern USA, although its prickled trunks and limbs require safety buffer zones, in order to- protect people and domesticated animals.
Ceiba speciosa is added to some versions of the hallucinogenic drink Ayahuasca.