Meet chorisia speciosa, the silk floss tree. They grow all around here. I grew up in Illinois. (Maples. Elms.) Flora-wise, moving to California is like landing on another planet. I wouldn't have known what to call this if I hadn't decided to post this photo, which forced me to look it up.
I found a pair of silk floss trees outside a famous Pasadena property. When we first moved here we marveled at the huge Tudor mansion we saw lording it over the arroyo as we crossed the Colorado Street Bridge. A few weeks later we gaped at the ruins when the home was destroyed by fire. (Some of the links in this article are dead, but there's a good photo of the fire's aftermath.)
Not much is left there now. But the gate house, its windows boarded, still stands, shadowed by two giant silk floss trees.
(click photos to enlarge)