fbpx

Articles

Pseudobombax Ellipticum – Are You Already a Proud Owner of This Amazing Plant?

Coveted for its unique brush-like flowers in late winter, the leaves are an attraction as well. This tree is a true gem within the plant world.

written by: Thursd. | 13-10-2021

The pseudobombax ellipticum, also known as the bombax ellipticum, is an unusual deciduous tree that belongs to the family of Bombacaeae. A fabulously and attractive fast-growing tree with a smooth green caudiciform trunk that can reach 18 meters in height. Coveted for its unique brush-like flowers in late winter, the leaves are an attraction as well. This tree is a true gem within the plant world. Are you already a proud owner of the pseudobombax ellipticum?

The Unusual Pseudobombax Ellipticum

The pseudobombax ellipticum is native to southern Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras but most plants you’ll find on the market are actually grown in Florida, California, and Hawaii. This plant has a typical grey-green trunk that is enlarged in its basal part, which functions as water storage for summer droughts. The diameter of this enlarged part of the trunk can even reach up to 1 meter!

 

Thursd Wide Feature 2 Pseudobombax Ellipticum - Are You Already a Proud Owner of This Amazing Plant?
Picture via @putti_tag

 

From its thick trunk, the pseudobombax ellipticum develops many branches which grow attractive, big leaves that are a brownish color when young but turn green when the plant matures. The pseudobombax is a deciduous caudex-forming tree that loses all of its tropical leaves in winter. In spring, large, velvety lipstick-like buds appear and then produce huge, explosive stunning flowers that look a bit like floral fireworks. After flowers finish it puts out stunning pink and red new leaves that get bigger with age then turn green.

 

 

What is a Caudex Plant?

The pseudobombax ellipticum is, as mentioned before, a caudex plant. These plants, also known as fat-bottomed plants, are one of the hottest trends among plant collectors at the moment. But what is a caudex plant? In short, the caudex of a plant is the stem, the rootstock from where new growth arises. The related term caudiciform, literally meaning stem-like, is sometimes used to mean thick-stemmed. Caudiciform plants or fat plants are a totally unrelated group of plants all having a fat stem or trunk at the base from which the stems grow.

Caudiciform plants do not require much maintenance. Because they are able to store water for dry periods, you do not need to water them regularly. They can survive quite well without nurturing them. During the months of active growth, water sufficiently, but only when the soil is completely dry. Avoid watering when the plant is hibernating. Otherwise, it will easily rotten.

 

Pseudobombax Ellipticum - Are You Already a Proud Owner of This Amazing Plant? Caudex Plant

 

Shell-Like Pattern of Gray and Bright Green Bark

The pseudobombax ellipticum is very interesting with a tortoise shell-like pattern of gray and bright green bark. Note that pot-grown plants are very sensitive to hot summer sun and should be protected. This plant was used by the Mayans and is depicted in their art. Its seed can be toasted and eaten while the fruit fibers (kapok) were used for batting and insulation. Pseudobombax ellipticum is planted as a living fence in Central America.

 

 

You Can Enjoy Your Pseudobombax Ellipticum All Year

Pseudobombax ellipticum can also be grown in pots and trained as a fascinating Bonsai subject. This plant is an interesting addition to your houseplant collection because you can enjoy it year-round. During the winter, it shows off its smooth green bark and picturesque structure. Then in spring, it grows striking white to neon-pink flowers that burst from cigar-like buds. Summer brings beautiful foliage that can range from red to bright green as the plant matures.

 

 

How to Take Care of the Pseudobombax Ellipticum

Bombax ellipticum is not particularly difficult to take care of. It needs sun and plenty of water. But pay attention: if you water too much root rotting can affect your plant. It’s from tropical areas, with a high degree of humidity. It doesn’t bear temperatures below 0 ºC. In colder climates (like Europe) it’s better to grow it in a pot, so you can easily put it indoors in winter. This plant needs a bright position: it doesn’t like shade.

 

Pseudobombax Ellipticum - Are You Already a Proud Owner of This Amazing Plant? Houseplant
Image via @coco_tirol

 

Pseudobombax Ellipticum - Are You Already a Proud Owner of This Amazing Plant? Caudex Plant
Pseudobombax ellipticum via @mossy_bits

 

Popular on Instagram and Facebook

When you open your social media, many pictures and movies are coming by from caudex all over the world, including the pseudobombax ellipticum. They are very popular, but not that easy to get. And rather expansive too. But once you have one, it’s almost like a little baby, you can’t stop taking care of it. Growing and collecting caudiciform can quickly go beyond a hobby to obsession, a common occurrence in the plant collecting world.


You may also like
Article
Alocasia Frydek – Are You Already a Proud Micholitziana Alocasia Owner?

This tropical plant is a hot interior design object contemporary with its velvety leaves

Article
Let’s Explore the Anatomy Of A Plant Person - featured photo - Reikan Creations - on thursd
Let’s Explore the Anatomy of A Plant Person

The human anatomy built up by flowers, leaves, and stems

Article
Hacks to Revive a Dead Plant - featured - on thursd
Hacks to Revive a Dead Plant

Even without having a green thumb...

Article
Philodendron Bipinnatifidum - An Easy to Care For Statement Plant Care Guide
Philodendron Bipinnatifidum – An Easy to Care For Statement Plant

With its beautiful vivid green leaves and vigorous growth, it's quite the eye-catcher

Article
Thursd Feature 10 Snake Plant Varieties to Add to Your Collection
10 Snake Plant Varieties to Add to Your Collection

Loved for their odd appearances and whimsical charm

Article
Variegated Alocasia (Macrorrhiza Variegata) - on Thursd. Header
Variegated Alocasia (Macrorrhiza Variegata) – the Elephant Ear Plant Everybody Wants

A great indoor and patio plant, the variegated elephant ears not only look great but also invites colorful tropical vibes to the place where it is grown

all products

all florists

all growers

all breeders

all traders

all essentials