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Chorisia

Floss Silk Tree
Malvaceae
Deciduous, Evergreen, Trees, Flowers

A heavy, spine-studded trunk and clouds of large, showy flowers have firmly embedded this South American native in Southern California horticulture. Its leaves are divided into leaflets like fingers of a hand, dropping during autumn flowering or whenever temperatures fall below 27°F (°3°C). Blooms resemble narrow-petaled hibiscus flowers.

Fast drainage and controlled watering are keys to success. Irrigate established trees about once a month during growing season; ease off in late summer to encourage more flowers. Prune only to remove wayward or dead growth.

Chorisia speciosa, photo courtesy of Joshua McCullough/PhytoPhoto
Chorisia speciosa, photo courtesy of Joshua McCullough/PhytoPhoto

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Chorisia speciosa

Grows 3–5 ft. a yearfor first few years, then moreslowly to an eventual 30–60 ft.tall and wide. Pink, purplishrose, or burgundy flowers are4 in. or more across. Graftedvarieties include ‘Los AngelesBeautiful’, with wine red flowers;and ‘Pink Princess’, a dwarfhybrid that grows 12 ft. high.

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