Ceiba
Puerto Rico's Official National Tree

A Ceiba Tree (pronounced "SAY-ba") derives from Ceiba pentandra, (silk-tree) a majestic tropical tree that towers above the forest canopy to heights of over 150 feet. Ceiba trees can be found throughout the new-world tropics, and are closely related to the peculiar baobab trees of Africa. The giant limbs of the Ceiba's umbrella-shaped crown are laden with aerial plants and provide a home for countless species of animals. Birds feed and nest in the tree's high perches, mammals use the enormous limbs as aerial highways, frogs raise their tadpoles in the tiny pools that collect in bromeliads growing on and around the trees, insects reach the peak of their diversity in the canopy of a Ceiba, and coquíes climb to the top of the canopy to eat insects each night while singing their melodious chirp.  Ceibas are also prized by Taínos who dugout anourmous canoes (some seated over 100 men) out of the tree's large and cylindrical trunk - and also carved out tambores for areitos..

 

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