Pseudobombax ellipticum

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Pseudobombax ellipticum
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Malvales
Family: Malvaceae
Genus: Pseudobombax
P. ellipticum
Binomial name
Pseudobombax ellipticum

Pseudobombax ellipticum, with common names including shaving brush tree, Dr Seuss tree, and amapolla tree, is a species of plant in the subfamily Bombacoideae of the family Malvaceae.


The tree is native to southern Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Hispaniola, Honduras and Cuba.


Pseudobombax elipticum is a tree that can reach 18 m (60 ft) in height and 1.3 m (4 ft) d.b.h. Its branches are close to the base of the stem. It is a deciduous tree with succulent stems. Each of the flowers can produce hundreds of tiny black seeds (.1mm) that germinate within approximately 30 days.

The flowers are fragrant and if peeled back quite sticky.


Uses include firewood and wood for carving handicrafts.

The attractive flowers are used to decorate homes and churches in Central America.[1] In Central America, a highly intoxicating drink is made from the tree.[2]


The tree is grown as an ornamental tree in Florida, Hawaii, and coastal Southern California.



  1. ^ Pseudobombax ellipticum (Kunth) Dugand
  2. ^ Maya, Divine Kings of the Rain Forest (ed. Nikolai Grube), Köln (Cologne) 2001, pp. 430-ff. ISBN 9783829041508