Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
And six other species
Silk cotton trees comprise eight species in the genus Bombax, native to tropical southern Asia, northern Australia and tropical Africa. Other names include semul, simul, simal, red cotton trees or Indian kapok trees.
Silk cotton trees are among the largest trees in their regions, reaching 30-40 m tall and up to 3 m trunk diameter. The leaves are dry-season deciduous, 30-50 cm across, palmate, with 5-9 leaflets. They bear red flowers between January and March, which mature into small husks containing a fibre, similar to kapok (Ceiba pentandra) and to cotton, though with shorter fibres than cotton.
They are also planted domestically and for reforestation of cleared areas.
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