Flora of the Nilgiris

Family : Bombacaceae
Flora of Nilgiri Biosphere (Northern Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve)

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Bombax ceiba L.

Leaf arrangement

Alternate distichous

Leaf Type

Digitate

Leaf Shape

Elliptic, Lanceolate, Oblong

Leaf Apex

Acute

Leaf Base

Sub-Acute

Leaf Margin

Entire

Habit : A deciduous tree with conical prickles on the trunk when young.

Habitat and Distribution : Occasionally found in plains from the coast, on the deciduous belt of the hills to 1400 m. Tropical Asia to New Guinea.

Indigenous Information : The rock bee, Apis dorsata can be found nesting on this tree.

Other relevent information : The bark gives a gum and exudates are used in medicine. The cotton is used to stuff pillows. Timber is used for matches and coffins.

Field Tips : Tree with buttressed base when mature.

 

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Names:

English : Silk Cotton Tree
Irula : Poola maram
Tamil : Mullilavu
Hindi : Simal
Malayalam : Ilavu
Kannada : Burla, Sauri

Flower:

Paired or clustered at the end branchlets; blood red. Flowering from March-April.

Fruit :

A capsule, oblong, dehiscing by five leathery or woody valves. Seeds many, smooth, globose, embedded in long white wool. Fruiting from April onwards.

All from Bombacaceae
Flora of Nilgiri Biosphere (Northern Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve)