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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Miscellaneous Details

Notes: Cultivated
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Brief

Flowering class: Dicot Habit: Tree Distribution notes: Exotic
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Description

Tall tree with straight trunk and ± horizontal main branches; bark smooth, usually with scattered conical spines to 1.5 cm long; young branches glabrous or pubescent. Leaves 5–9-foliolate; leaflets narrowly elliptic-obovate, entire, acuminate, 7–20 x 1.8–6.5 cm, glabrous; petiole 5.5–25 cm long, at the apex expanded into an almost circular disk. Flowers often on leafless branches or present when the whole tree is leafless, in 1–15-flowered axillary clusters. Calyx 9–15 mm long, lobed, glabrous outside, pubescent inside. Petals pink or white, oblong, 2–3.5 cm long. Filament-tube 5–9 mm long; anthers coiled or reniform. Ovary glabrous or nearly so; style 2.5–3.3 cm long. Capsule ± woody, smooth, brown, oblong-ellipsoid, up to c. 26 x 11 cm. Seeds subglobose, c. 6 mm across.

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Distribution

"Planted around the villages and roadsides. Common. Native of Africa, now widely planted in the tropics."
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"Maharashtra: Kolhapur, Pune Karnataka: Coorg, Mysore, N. Kanara, Shimoga Kerala: All districts"
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Global Distribution

Throughout the tropics

Indian distribution

State - Kerala, District/s: All Districts

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Global Distribution

Widespread in Tropical Africa and America

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Distribution: Throughout the tropics of the world.
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Physical Description

Morphology

"
Flower

In clusters at the ends of branchlets, white or whitish-yellow. Flowering January-April.

Fruit

An ellipsoid to fusiform capsule, indehiscent, valves with silky fibres; seeds numerous, subglobose, enveloped in silky cotton.

Field tips

Stem prickly when young, later smooth, green. Branchlets drooping. Tree leafless when flowering.

Leaf Arrangement

Whorled

Leaf Type

Digitate

Leaf Shape

Oblanceolate, elliptic or oblong

Leaf Apex

Subacute or acuminate

Leaf Base

Obtuse-cuneate

Leaf Margin

Entire

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Description

Trees to 30 m tall; buttresses small or absent, trunk often sparsely spiny; main branches verticillate, spreading horizontally; young branches spiny. Petiole 7-14(-25) cm, longer than leaflet blade; leaflets 5-9, petiolules 3-4(-10) mm; blades oblong to lanceolate, 5-20 × 1.5-6.5 cm, thinly leathery, glabrous, base acuminate, margin entire or very sparsely and minutely toothed near apex, apex shortly acuminate. Flowers subterminal, solitary or in fascicles of up to 15, produced before or simultaneous with new leaves. Pedicel (1.8-)2.5-5 cm. Calyx (0.9-)1.2-2 cm, adaxially glabrous. Petals pink or white, obovate-oblong, 2.5-4 × 0.7-1.5 cm, abaxially densely white villous, adaxially glabrous. Filaments on staminal tube varying in length; anthers reniform. Ovary glabrous; style 2.5-3.5 cm; stigma rod-shaped, 5-lobed. Capsule oblong, tapering toward tip, 7.5-15(-26) × 3-5(-11) cm, fruiting pedicel 7-25 cm, endocarp leathery, smooth. Seeds globose, ca. 6 mm in diam. Fl. Mar-Apr.
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Description

Tree up to 100 ft. high trunk with large buttresses, branches with or without prickles, generally prickly in young stage, prickles acute. Leaves 5-9 foliolate, glabrous, petiole 5-23 cm long, leaflet oblong lanceolate, acuminate-7-20 cm x 2.3-4.2 cm, petiolule 0.5-1.2 cm long. Flowers usually appear before the flush of leaves. Inflorescence fasciculate few to many flowered. Flowers yellow or white, pedicel 2.5-3 cm long. Calyx campanulate 4-5 lobed, lobes 1-1.2 cm long, glabrous outside, silky villous inside. Petals obovate-oblong, 2.5-4 cm x 1-1.5 cm, tomentose outside, except the base, pubescent near the apex inside. Staminal column 5-5.5 mm long, glabrous, filament 2.5 cm long, each branch bearing 2-3 anfractuose anthers. Ovary globose, stigma capitate. Capsule wooly ellipsoid or fusiform, acute at both ends 10-26 cm long and 3-4 cm in diam. Seeds numerous subglobose 5.5-7 mm long and 4.4-5.5 mm wide.
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Diagnostic Description

Diagnostic

"Trees, to 20 m high, buttressed at base; bark green or greenish-grey, peeling off in round bosses; exudation red, watery, sticky; branches horizontal in whorls. Leaves digitately compound, alternate, gathered towards the apex of branchlets; rachis 5-20 cm, slender, glabrous, swollen tip and base; leaflets 5-9; petiolule 3-8 mm, stout, glabrous; lamina 4.5-14.5 x 1.5-4 cm, elliptic, obovate-oblong or ovate-oblong, base acute or cuneate, apex acute or acuminate, margin entire, glabrous, chartaceous; lateral nerves 5-14 pairs, pinnate, prominent, intercostae reticulate, prominent. Flowers bisexual, creamy white, usually in clusters of 3-10, axillary or grouped towards the ends of leafless branchlets, rarely solitary, axillary; pedicels 2-4 cm long, stout, glabrous; calyx green, campanulate, ca. 1 cm long, irregularly 4-5 lobed, coriaceous, glabrous outside, silky pubescent inside, persistent; petals 5, 2.5-4 x 1-1.5 cm, creamy white, obovate-spathulate, adnate to the base of staminal tube, tomentose out side except at the base pubescent near the apex inside, imbricate; staminal tube divided into 5 phalanges, each dividing again into 2 filiform branches bearing 2-3 anafractose, 1-locular twisted anthers; ovary superior, globular or ovoid, yellow, sessile, tomentose at apex; 5-locular, ovules many in each locule, on axil placenta; style white, filiform at base, suddenly obliquely enlarged above the stamens; stigma capitate. Fruit a capsule 7.5-25 x 3-4 cm, ellipsoid to fusiform, green when young, become brown, narrowed at both ends, indehiscent or tardily dehiscing into 5 valves, septa membranous; seeds numerous, subpyriform, black with copious white silky fibres, testa brown to blackish."
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Diagnostic

"Habit: A large deciduous tree, upto 20m."
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Diagnostic

Habit: Large tree
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Synonym

Bombax pentandrum Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 511. 1753; Eriodendron anfractuosum Candolle.
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Ecology

Habitat

Chocó-Darién Moist Forests Habitat

This taxon can be found in the Chocó-Darién moist forests ecoregion, one of the most species rich lowland areas on Earth, with exceptional abundance and endemism over a broad range of taxa including plants, birds, amphibians and arthropods. The biological distinctiveness is exceptional, with considerable biodiversity.

There are three principal geomorphologic types in the ecoregion: alluvial plains of recent origin, low mountains formed by the relatively recent dissection of sediments from the Tertiary and Pleistocene periods, and the complexes in mountain areas consisting of mesozoic rocks. The high precipitation and the topography mean that the ecoregion includes a complex of great hydrographic basins, the most important being those of the Atrato, Baudó, and San Juan Rivers and the Micay and Patía Rivers in the south. The force of the water in many of these rivers form deep gorges cutting through the mountains, creating spectacular rapids and waterfalls in the mountains. At lower elevations, large rivers become very wide and with many meanders. Given the high precipitation in the region, it is not surprising that the soils are severely leached and poor in nutrients. Most of the ecoregion has typical laterite soils with reddish clay, although the soils are younger and less leached in some areas, especially close to the base of the Andes and in the floodplains of the major rivers. Of particular botanical interest are the white clay soils in the region of Bajo Calima in Colombia, which are associated with the gigantic sclerophyllous leafed and unusually large fruited vegetation.

Depending on the altitudinal gradient, soil water content and the effect of the sea, there are various types of vegetation that make up the ecoregion. In broad terms, in the northern part of the ecoregion, the lowland rainforests correlate to the Brosimun utilis alliance, including communities dominated by the deciduous Cuipo tree (Cavanillesia platanifolia), the Espavé wild cashew (Anacardium excelsum), the Panamanian rubber tree (Castilla elastica), Brosimum guianense, Bombacopsis spp., Ceiba pentandra, Dipteryx panamensis, and others. In the undergrowth Mabea occidentalis, Clidemia spp., Conostegia spp. and Miconia spp. are abundant. In zones that are occasionally flooded, the Cativo (Prioria copaifera) flourishes as well. In the southern part of the ecoregion, these rainforests have multiple strata, with two layers of trees, lianas, and epiphytes with vigorous growth rates. The number of deciduous plants increases in the north and south, where there is a dry season, particularly near the coast. The forests at higher altitudes, starting at 600 meters, have communities with the following species: Guamos (Inga spp.), Billia columbiana, Brosimum sp., Sorocea spp., Jacaranda hesperia, Pourouma chocoana, Guatteria ferruginea, Cecropia spp., Elaegia utilis, and Brunellia spp.

There are at least 127 species of amphibians in the Choco-Darien, including the following endemic anuran species: Isla Bonita robber frog (Craugastor crassidigitus); Kokoe poison frog (Phyllobates aurotaenia NT), found on western slopes of the Cordillera Occidental , along the Ra­o San Juan drainage south to the Ra­o Raposo; Golden poison frog (Phyllobates terribilis EN); La Brea poison frog (Oophaga occultator); Andagoya robber frog (Pristimantis roseus); Antioquia beaked toad (Rhinella tenrec); Atrato glass frog (Hyalinobatrachium aureoguttatum); Blue-bellied poison arrow frog (Ranitomeya minuta); Colombian egg frog (Ctenophryne minor), known only to the in the upper Ra­o Saija drainage; Condoto stubfoot toad (Atelopus spurrelli VU); Flecked leaf frog (Phyllomedusa psilopygion); LeDanubio robber frog (Strabomantis zygodactylus). An endemic salamander present in the Choco-Darien is the Finca Chibigui salamander (Bolitoglossa medemi VU).

Some other non-endemic anurans found here are: Anatipes robber frog (Strabomantis anatipes); Banded horned treefrog (Hemiphractus fasciatus); Black-legged poison frog (Phyllobates bicolor NT); Horned marsupial frog (Gastrotheca cornuta EN), known for having the largest amphibian eggs in the world; El Tambo stubfoot toad (Atelopus longibrachius EN); Elegant stubfoot toad (Atelopus elegans CR). Endemic caecilians in the ecoregion include the Andagoya caecilian (Caecilia perdita).

There are a number of reptilian taxa within the ecoregion, including: Adorned graceful brown snake (Rhadinaea decorata); the endemic Black centipede snake (Tantilla nigra); Boulenger's least gecko (Sphaerodactylus scapularis VU); the endemic Iridescent ground snake (Atractus iridescens); the endemic Cauca coral snake (Micrurus multiscutatus); the endemic Colombian coral snake (Micrurus spurelli); the endemic Dark ground snake (Atractus melas); the endemic Colombian mud turtle (Atractus melas VU); and the endemic Echternacht's ameiva (Ameiva anomala).

There are 577 species of birds recorded; Tyrannidae is listed as the most diverse avian family, presenting 28 genera and 60 species within the ecoregion. The Choco-Daroemis is a center of avian endemism of the Neotropics; moreover, according to Stattersfield, this ecoregion spans two Endemic Bird Areas, one in Central America and one in South America.

Between these two Endemic Bird Areas there are over sixty restricted range species, including the Chocó tinamou (Crypturellus kerriae VU), Chestnut-mantled Oropendola (Psarocolius cassini EN), Viridian dacnis (Dacnis viguieri), Crested ant-tanager (Habia cristata), Lita woodpecker (Piculus litea), and Plumbeous forest-falcon (Micrastur plumbeus EN). Also to be noted is the presence of the Harpy eagle (Harpia harpyja), the Black and white crowned eagle (Spizastur melanoleucus), taxa increasingly rare in many areas of the Neotropics, and possibly the Speckled antshrike (Xenornis setifrons EN) although one has not been recorded in Colombia since the 1940s.

The region is rich in mammalian taxa, but the larger animals have received inadequate research. These include the Bush dog (Speothos venaticus NT); Chocó tamarin (Saguinus geoffroyi EN), the Baird's Tapir (Tapirus bairdii EN), the Giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla VU), the Brown-headed spider monkey (Ateles fuscipens CR), the Puma (Puma concolor VU), the Ocelot (Leopardus pardalis LC), and the jaguar (Panthera onca NT).

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General Habitat

Cultivated
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Habitat & Distribution

Cultivated. Guangdong, Guangxi, Yunnan [native to tropical America and possibly West Africa; now pantropical, regarded as invasive on some Pacific islands].
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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Flowering and fruiting: February-June
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Ceiba pentandra

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 21
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Uses

"

The cotton is used for making pillows and cushions. The roots are stimulant tonic, diuretic, emetic and antispasmodic, they have hypoglycaemic effect and are useful in diabetes, dysentery and gonorrhoea.

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Folklore

Apis dorsata forage on the flower during night time.

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Wikipedia

Ceiba pentandra

"Kapok" and "kapok tree" redirect here. For the red/orange-flowered tree, see Bombax ceiba. For the children's book, see The Great Kapok Tree.

Ceiba pentandra Telugu: బూరుగ is a tropical tree of the order Malvales and the family Malvaceae (previously separated in the family Bombacaceae), native to Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, northern South America, and (as the variety C. pentandra var. guineensis) to tropical west Africa. Kapok is the most used common name for the tree and may also refer to the cotton obtained from its seed pods. The tree is also known as the Java cotton, Java kapok, silk-cotton or ceiba.

Characteristics[edit]

The tree grows to 60–70 m (200–230 ft) tall and has a very substantial trunk up to 3 m (10 ft) in diameter with buttresses. The trunk and many of the larger branches are often (but not always) crowded with very large, robust simple thorns. The leaves are compound of 5 to 9 leaflets, each up to 20 cm (8 in) and palm like. Adult trees produce several hundred 15 cm (6 in) seed pods. The pods contain seeds surrounded by a fluffy, yellowish fibre that is a mix of lignin and cellulose. One of the oldest known trees is 200 years old, and sits at Terrazas in Miami.[2]

Uses[edit]

Kapok seeds within fibres in Kolkata, West Bengal, India.

The fibre is light, very buoyant, resilient, resistant to water, but it is very flammable. The process of harvesting and separating the fibre is labour-intensive and manual. It is difficult to spin, but is used as an alternative to down as filling in mattresses, pillows, upholstery, zafus, and stuffed toys such as teddy bears, and for insulation. It was previously much used in life jackets and similar devices until synthetic materials largely replaced the fibre. The seeds produce an oil, used locally in soap and that can be used as fertilizer.

Native tribes along the Amazon River harvest the kapok fibre to wrap around their blowgun darts. The fibres create a seal that allows the pressure to force the dart through the tube.

The commercial tree is most heavily cultivated in the rainforests of Asia, notably in Java (hence its nicknames), Philippines, Malaysia, Hainan Island in China as well as in South America. The flowers are an important source of nectar and pollen for honey bees.

Ethnomedical uses[edit]

Ceiba pentandra bark decoction has been used as a diuretic, aphrodisiac, and to treat headache, as well as type II diabetes. It is used as an additive to some versions of the hallucinogenic drink Ayahuasca.

Kapok seed oil[edit]

A pressed seed oil can be derived from the seeds of the kapok tree. The oil has a yellow colour and a pleasant, mild odour and taste.[3] It has similar characteristics to cottonseed oil. It becomes rancid quickly when exposed to air. Kapok oil is produced in India, Indonesia and Malaysia. It has an iodine value of 85-100, which makes it a nondrying oil. This means that it does not dry out significantly when exposed to the air.[3] Kapok oil has some potential as a biofuel and in paint preparation.

Religion and folklore[edit]

The kapok is a sacred symbol in Maya mythology.[4]

According to the folklore of Trinidad and Tobago, the Castle of the Devil is a huge kapok growing deep in the forest in which Bazil the demon of death was imprisoned by a carpenter. The carpenter tricked the devil into entering the tree in which he carved seven rooms, one above the other, into the trunk. Folklore claims that Bazil still resides in that tree.[5]

Symbolism[edit]

C. pentandra is the national emblem of Guatemala,[4] Puerto Rico,[6] and Equatorial Guinea. It appears on the coat of arms and flag of Equatorial Guinea.[7]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ gbif.org
  2. ^ "Terrazas Miami in Miami River". Paz Realtors. Retrieved 15 April 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Kapok seed oil From the German Transport Information Service
  4. ^ a b Hellmuth, Nicholas (March 2011). "Ceiba pentandra". Revue Magazine. 
  5. ^ "Tobago’s Avatar – ‘The tree of life’". Tobago News. 2012-03-01. 
  6. ^ Philpott, Don (2003). Landmark Puerto Rico. Hunter Publishing, Inc. p. 14. ISBN 9781901522341. 
  7. ^ Berry, Bruce. "Equatorial Guinea". CRW Flags. Retrieved 2013-04-27. 
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Notes

Comments

Rarely cultivated in Pakistan for its beautiful flowers.
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Comments

This species is grown as a street tree and for the waterproof fibers surrounding the seeds (kapok).
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