Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Ceiba is the name of a genus of about ten species of large trees found in tropical areas, including Central and South America, the Caribbean, West Africa, and Southeast Asia. Some species can grow to 70 meters tall or more, with a straight, largely branchless trunk that culminates in a huge, spreading canopy, and "buttress" roots that can be taller than a grown man. The best-known, and most widely cultivated, species is Kapok, Ceiba pentandra.
The Ceiba is central to Mayan mythology, in which it is said to hold up the sky. It should not be confused with the ceibo or crybaby tree (Erythrina crista-galli), the national tree of Argentina, Uruguay and Guatemala.
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