Bombax ceiba L. - BOMBACACEAE

Synonym : Bombax malabaricum DC

Vernacular names : Tamil: Elava maram, Ilavu maram, Moul elavou, Mull ilavu, Pulai, Purani, Malai elavam.  Malayalam: Ellavu, Illavu, Mullilavu, Poola.  Kannada: Burga, Pula, Booragada mara, Kemphuburuga, Proparte.  English: Malabar semul, Red cotton tree, Silk cotton.

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Botanical descriptions Ecology Distribution Literatures

Botanical descriptions :

Habit : Large deciduous trees, buttressed, up to 40 m tall.
Trunk & Bark : Bark grey covered with caducous conical prickles, flaky.
Branches and Branchlets : Branches horizontal, branchlets clustered spirally at nodes, terete, armed.
Leaves : Leaves compound, digitate, clustered at twig ends; stipules lanceolate, caducous; petiole 12-30 cm long, terete, glabrous; leaflets 3-8, lamina (4-) 8-16 x (1.5-) 3-7 cm, narrow elliptic to oblanceolate, apex caudate to acuminate, base cuneate to acute, margin entire, glabrous, chartaceous; midrib slightly raised above; secondary_nerves ca. 14 pairs; tertiary_nerves reticulate.
Inflorescence / Flower : Flowers solitary or in fascicles, usually on leafless branches, dark red.
Fruit and Seed : Capsule woody, 5-valved, densely wooly within; seeds many.

Ecology :

Emergent trees in the openings of evergreen forests, up to 1400 m.

Distribution :

Indomalaysia; in the Western_Ghats- South, Central and south Maharashtra Sahyadris.

Literatures :

Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 511. 1753; Gamble, Fl. Madras 1: 99. 1997 (re. ed); Sasidharan, Biodiversity documentation for Kerala- Flowering Plants, part 6: 55. 2004; Saldanha, Fl. Karnataka 1: 239. 1996; Keshava Murthy and Yoganarasimhan, Fl. Coorg (Kodagu) 73. 1990; Cook, Fl. Bombay 2. 120. 1902.

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