Tree Cotton – Red Kapok Tree
Bombax ceiba, like other trees of the genus Bombax, is commonly known as cotton tree. More specifically, it is sometimes known as Malabar silk-cotton tree; red silk-cotton; red cotton tree; or ambiguously as silk-cotton or kapok, both of which may also refer to Ceiba pentandra.
|Blooming Bombax Ceiba tree in Hong Kong|
This Asian tropical tree has a straight tall trunk and its leaves are deciduous in winter. Red flowers with 5 petals appear in the spring before the new foliage. It produces a capsule which, when ripe, contains white fibres like cotton. Its trunk bears spikes to deter attacks by animals. Although its stout trunk suggests that it is useful for timber, its wood is too soft to be very useful.