Silk floss tree is an awkwardly branched 30-60 ft (9.1-18.3 m) tree with pale green leaves palmately divided into 5-7 pointed leaflets. The young trees start out growing fast, straight, and narrow, then slowly develop broadly spreading umbrella canopies as they age. The bulbous green trunk is covered with big blunt warty triangular spines and turns gray as the tree gets older. Silk floss trees typically drop their leaves just before they put on their spectacular autumn display of five-petaled flowers. The petals vary from pale pink to rose to purple or burgundy at the tips and grade into ivory with brownish spots or blotches at the base. The flowers are followed by pear shaped capsules filled with many seeds embedded in silky white floss.
Chorisia taxonomy has not been refined and the flowers of this "species" are extremely variable, so there is a good chance that several different species and/or hybrids thereof are lumped under the name C. speciosa. Silk floss tree is native to Brazil and Argentina, but it is cultivated in many tropical areas.
Silk floss tree is cultivated as a flowering specimen tree, the flowering period goes from January to May and fruit grow from April to October. The seedpod silk has been used to stuff cushions, mattresses and quilts.<