Adventures written by the VAMONDE Team
Located next to the Flagler Museum and the Gull Cottage, the Giant Kapok tree is a must-visit location for museum-goers looking for a quick detour. The enormous Banyan tree is located just past the cottage and next to the Lake Trail and has become a site worthy of intrigue and fascination due to the tree's size and twisting roots.
A two-minute walk from the Flagler Museum, the Giant Kapok Tree is located right off the shore and is an incredible feat of nature that captivates visitors due to its unique growth and shape. The tree is fenced off around the base, but there are benches nearby where visitors can sit, admire the tree, read, or look out at the beautiful scenery. A perfect place for a photo opportunity or to gaze at nature, the Giant Kapok Tree has become a notable site in the Palm Beach area.
A giant in the rainforests, the kapok tree can reach up to 200 feet in height, sometimes growing as much as 13 feet per year. The kapok towers over the other rainforest vegetation and can expand to nine or ten feet in diameter with several nooks and grooves in the huge plant. As a deciduous tree, the kapok sheds all of its leaves during the dry season. Its seeds are easily blown into open areas, and kapok trees are some of the first to colonize open spaces in the forest. The flowers that grow on the kapok are white and pink and emit a foul odor that is an attractant for bats. Usually located throughout the Neotropics, kapok trees are found from southern Mexico to the southern Amazon and even parts of West Africa. Florida has also become home to this beautiful tree for visitors to oooooh and ahhhhh over.
The giant kapok tree looms over the Flagler Museum, Henry Flagler's 73-room palatial estate that is now a monument to the technology and artistic achievement of the Gilded Age. If you have a couple of hours to spare, you might want to peruse the museum before or after visiting the giant kapok.
Cover photo by Jeremy Bishop made available by Unsplash.