Hands down, simply the most incredible eye-popping tree that I’ve EVER seen in my life! With its arm-like branches & leg-like base it honestly looks like something out of a movie that you might see the trees walking around like the Wizard Of Oz or Lord Of The Rings.
Here’s Art’s Wikipedia version of my condensed research: The Kapok Tree, also known as Ceiba & Silkcotton is the National tree of Puerto Rico & Guatemala. It grows up to 230 ft tall (10 ft a year) and has a very substantial trunk up to 10 ft in diameter which does NOT include its buttresses (legs/roots). It was also the sacred tree of the Mayans who believed that the souls of the dead climbed a mythical Kapok Tree whose branches reached to the heavens. Most commercial trees come from the island of Java in Indonesia, Asia, Philippines, Malaysia, & South America. The buoyant & water-resistant fibers of its cotton-like pod were used during WWII in lifejackets known jokingly as Mae West’s being large and floaty! Its bark has a medicinal purpose and has been used as a diuretic, aphrodisiac, and to treat headache, as well as type II diabetes. Its most prevalent commercial uses are in furniture, insulation, caskets, canoes, & carvings.
To find this AWESOME once in a lifetime sight is directly in front of the Monroe County Courthouse (seen in the background) on Whitehead Street in Key West. Don’t even think about missing this on your trip down to Paradise!