Bombax ceiba

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Name and publication

Bombax ceiba L., Sp. Pl. 1: 511 (1753).


The calyces with accompanying stamens, 2-4 cm wide, of the Indian kapok or red cottontree are known as “sem pods” in the potpourri trade. The flowers are short-lived, and as they are pollinated, they abort to drop on the ground below. In Burma and nearby regions, these are harvested and prepared as a vegetable curry.

Nativity and distribution

Bombax ceiba is native to China, Indo-China, India, and Australia.


Malvaceae, also placed in Bombacaceae