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Bombax ceiba L. (Bombacaceae)
Vernacular name: ngieo-daeng
Common name: kapok tree (English), red cotton tree (English), kiwata (Japanese)

  Large-sized tree, up to 30 m high; bark whitish, covered wit stout, hard, conical prickles, occasionally without; branches spreading nearly horizontally, prickly. Leaf digitate, leaflets elliptic, 8-15 by 3-5.5 cm; apex long cuspidate to acute; base acute to obtuse; coriaceous, glabrous, on lower surface; midrib and secondary nerves distinct on lower surface, secondary nerves in 9-15 by pairs, arched and anastomosing near margin. Petiole 12-18 cm long; glabrous, petiolule 0.5-2 cm. Flowers solitary, at the upper leaf-scars; buds ellipsoid ca. 3 by 1.5 cm; pedicel 5-10 mm, glabrous. Calyx cup-shaped, ca. 2 by 3 cm, with (3-)4(-5) unequal lobes, silky hairy within. Petals red, dark orange or bright yellow, obvate, oblong, 5-8 by 2.5-3 cm, erect then recurved, softly hairy on both sides. Stamens numerous, 3.5-7 cm long, united at base to a short stamina tube, enclosed ovary and lower part of style, then divided into 10 groups, the outer 5, each with 5-6 pairs, equal and erect, the inner 5, each with 5 unequal stamens attached to the style; anthers 1-celled, reniform, then twisted. Ovary ovoid, 5-longitudinal grooved, glabrous; style cylindrical, pinkish, 8-8.5 cm, protruding beyond the stamens; stigma dark pink with 5 spreading lobes. Capsule oblong, smooth, woody silky within, 8-10 by 4-5 cm, dehiscent. Seeds numerous.
  A common tree in dried, deciduous forest.
  The dried stamens are collected during dried season and are added in curry dishes, typically northern Thai style of cooking.
  Kapok tree is normally grown from seeds.


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