Ceiba pentandra

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Photographs by: Dr. Maulik Gadani

  • Botanical Name : Ceiba pentandra (L.) Gaertn.
  • Synonyms : Eriodendron anfractuosum DC., Ceiba caribaea (DC.) A. Chev.
  • Common Name : Kapok Tree, White Silk Cotton Tree, Safed Shimdo
  • Plant Family : Bombacaceae
  • Originally this plant was placed in family Malvaceae by Bentham and Hooker but later on as per new modern views it is placed in a separate family Bombacaceae.

  • Plant Form : Tree
  • Occurrence (Sectors) : 5, 8, 11, 23, 24
  • Occurrence (Special Areas) : Gujarat Forestry Research Foundation, Indroda Park, Van Chetana Kendra, Basan, Aranya Van

About Ceiba pentandra Plant :

  • Habit : A tall tree with far reaching branches horizontal in whorls of 3, vericellate.
  • Leaves : Deciduous, compound, long-petioled, leaflets 5-8, lanceolate, entire or serrate, stipules small, caducous.
  • Flowers :
    • Flowers tufted at the ends of branches or axillary, white or rose-coloured.
    • Calyx cup-shaped, 5-cleft, leathery, petals 5, oblong, thick, whitish, imbricate, wooly outside.
    • Stamens in 5 bundles, opposite the petals, connate at the base, each bearing 3 sinuous anthers.
    • Ovary 5-celled, many ovuled; style cylindric, dilated; stigma 5-lobed.
  • Fruit : Capsules ovoid, oblong many seeded, seeds enclosed in separate woolly balls.
  • Flowering and Fruiting Time : February - March
  • Significance :
    • The cotton or floss from the capsules are used for stuffing cushions and pillows.
    • The root juice is used in diabetes.