Some people at the Vons shopping center at 3645 Midway Drive are puzzled by an odd-looking tree that is growing along the driveway behind Fantastic Sam's. Some mistakenly identified it as an avocado tree.
This past summer, the tree had a profusion of pink flowers that attracted bees. The unusually large pods hanging from the tree and the bark's sharp, spiky thorns give it an otherworldly appearance.
I did some investigating and found out that the specimen is called a “silk floss tree.” Also known as Ceiba speciosa, it is named for its "soft silky fiber surrounding the avocado-sized seed pods," according to pinecrestgardenguy.blogspot.
The tree originated in South America and is found planted along Los Angeles–area streets.Thriving in poor soils, the trees require very little in the way of care, which makes it a popular choice for urban landscapes.