This beautiful has started flowering in Kolkata, though the pictures attached are of 2007.
, like other tree from genus Bombax
, is commonly known as cotton tree
or tree cotton
. The tropical tree is with straight tall trunk and its leaves are deciduous
in winter. Red flowers with 5 petals are born in the spring before green leaves. Small husks raped contain fibres like cotton. Its trunk bears spikes to deter attacks by animals. Although its trunk looks good for timber, its wood is too soft for use.
in the husks were used a substitute of cotton
. Its flower was a common ingredient in Chinese herb tea
The Sanskrit name for this tree is Salmali. In the Rigveda, the chariot is made of Salmali (RV 10.85.20) and other woods.
Folk knowledge in Hong Kong states that soon after the tree blooms, the weather will get hotter.
species are among the largest trees
in their regions, reaching 30 to 40 metres in height and up to 3 metres trunk diameter. The leaves
are compound with entire margins and deciduous
, being shed in the dry-season. They measure 30 to 50 cm across and are palmate in shape with 5 to 9 leaflets
. The calyx
is deciduous, meaning it does not persist on the fruits. They bear 5 to 10 cm long red flowers
between January and March while the tree is still leafless. The stamens
are present in bundles in two whorls, while the staminal column lacks lobes. The ovary
matures into a husk containing seeds covered by a fibre similar to that of the kapok
) and to cotton
, though with shorter fibres
than cotton, that does not lend itself to spinning, making it unusable as a textile product.