Bombax ceiba L.

Sub-Family: Not available
English Name: Red Silk Cotton tree
Synonym: Salmalia malabarica (DC.)Schott&Endl.
Common Name: Ilavu, Kapok tree
Flowering & Fruiting Period: January - April
Distribution: Tropical Asia and New Guinea
Habitat: Moist deciduous and semi-evergreen forests, also in the plains
Uses: Fruits, young leaf, stem, flowers edible. The flowers are astringent and refrigerant. They are used to treat cutaneous troubles. The young roots are diuretic and tonic. They are used in the treatment of cholera, tubercular fistula, coughs, urinary complaints, nocturnal pollution, abdominal pain due to dysentery, and impotency. The leaves are hypotensive and hypoglycaemic. The bark is reputedly used against cholera.
Key Characteristics: Deciduous trees; to 45 m high; armed with conical prickles; bark grey mottled with white. Leaves digitately-compound, alternate; rachis swollen at base; leaflets 5-7, whorled, elliptic, margin entire. Flowers bisexual, dark crimson. Calyx campanulate, irregularly lobed. Petals 5, obovate to elliptic-obovate, imbricate. Stamens 65-80, in 5 bundles; anthers reniform. Ovary conical, 5-celled; ovules many. Fruit a capsule, cylindrical, blackish; seeds numerous, smooth, dark brown, embedded in white cotton.