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Pseudobombax ellipticum is winter deciduous. In their habitat they can reach 30 feet tall with a trunk over 4’. They tolerate temperatures in high 20°s for short time periods. Our outdoor specimens survived undamaged the January 2007 freeze (3 nights at 25° with just a blanket of frost cloth thrown over them). After flowering and as the leaves emerge is the best time to trim this plant for shape. Pseudobombax ellipticum is native to southern Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras where it grows in dry and rocky locations. It is a very ornamental plant and native cultures within it natural range likely planted it for this purpose but also planted it as a living fence and used its wood for firewood and for carving dishes. Its seed could be toasted and eaten and the fruit fibers (kapok) was used to fill pillows and as insulation. Its importance to the Mayan civilizations is evidenced by the its presence in the artwork on ceramic pieces. The plant was first described in 1822 as Bombax ellipticum by the German botanist Carl Sigismund Kunth and later reclassified to its current name by Columbian botanist Armando Dugand in 1943. The name for the genus is the combination of the Latin and Greek words 'bombax' meaning cotton 'pseudo' meaning "false" in reference to this plant previously being placed in the genus Bombax, whose name came from the cottony white fibers, called kapok, that surround the seeds. Long considered in its own family, the Bombacaceae, the current treatment has transferred them to the subfamily Bombacoideae within the family Malvaceae. Information from SM growers