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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Tokkuri Kiwata - Floss Silk Tree (Ceiba speciosa)

A Tokkuri Kiwata Tree, Ginoza Village, Okinawa Main Island
Closer look
The Tokkuri Kiwata Flower
Thorns often found  on the trunk

Tokkuri Kiwata - Floss Silk Tree (Ceiba speciosa)

Common Name (English): Floss Silk Tree
Common Name (Japanese): Tokkuri Kiwata, トックリキワタ木綿
Scientific Name: Ceiba speciosa
Native Country: South America, Brazil
How it got to Okinawa Islands: Uncertain by the author
Location Spotted by the Author: Okinawa Main Island; Onna Village, Ginoza Village, Nago City, Kitanakagusuku
Japanese Name Dissection. Tokkuri - sake bottle, Ki - tree, Wata or Kiwata - cotton

Characteristics: Pink flowers, thorns on the trunk (not all), large green hanging fruit (image not available, believed not to be edible[no source]), the trunk is often shaped like that of a sake bottle.

Flower Blooming Season. No reference can be cited on blooming season. However, these flowers have been seen to bloom in the month of November and December (Okinawan main island), however it does not seem to happen annually for all trees.

Author's Note. The flowers for these trees in 2012 were very scarce, and the few trees that did bloom only had a few flowers to show forth. In 2013 some trees bloomed tremendously well, while others still had shown little flowers. I have no recollection in 2011 of these flowers blooming. Typically, these trees are seen along highways in vast numbers and in an orderly manner – which would imply that they were purchased by the government and planted there intentionally. The author is not certain exactly how they come to arrive to Okinawa.



  1. My first notice of them was in Ogimi-son back in the 1980s. The Forestry Department told me they were brought from Brazil after the war, as part of the effort to green up the island.

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