|Kapok plantit in Honolulu, Hawai'i|
Ceiba pentandra is a tropical tree o the order Malvales an the faimily Malvaceae (previously separated in the faimily Bombacaceae), native tae Mexico, Central Americae an the Caribbean, northren Sooth Americae, an (as the variety C. pentandra var. guineensis) tae tropical wast Africae. Kapok is the maist uised common name for the tree an mey an aa refer tae the cotton obtained frae its seed pods. The tree is an aa kent as the Java cotton, Java kapok, Silk cotton or ceiba.
Table o contents
Characteristics[edit | edit source]
The tree grows tae 60–70 m (200–230 ft) taw an haes a very substantial trunk up tae 3 m (10 ft) in diameter wi buttresses. The trunk an mony o the lairger branches are eften (but nae always) crowdit wi very lairge, robust simple thorns. The leaves are compoond o 5 tae 9 leaflets, each up tae 20 cm (8 in) an palm lik. Adult trees produce several hundred 15 cm (6 in) seed pods. The pods contain seeds surroondit bi a fluffy, yellaeish fibre that is a mix o lignin an cellulose.
Uises[edit | edit source]
The fibre is licht, very buoyant, resilient, resistant tae watter but it is very flammable. The process o harvestin an separatin the fibre is labour-intensive an manual. It is difficult tae spin but is uised as an alternative tae doun as fillin in mattresses, pillows, upholstery, zafus, an stuffed toys such as teddy bears, an for insulation. It wis previously much uised in life jackets an similar devices till synthetic materials lairgely replaced the fibre. The seeds produce an ile uised locally in soap an that can be uised as fertilizer.
The commercial tree is maist hivily cultivatit in the rainforests o Asie, notably in Java (hence its nicknames), Philippines, Malaysie, Hainan Island in Cheenae as well as in Sooth Americae. The flouers are an important soorce o nectar an pollen for honeybees.
Ethnomedical uises[edit | edit source]
Ceiba pentandra bark decoction haes been uised as a diuretic, aphrodisiac, an tae treat headache, as well as type II diabetes. It is uised as an additive tae some versions o the hallucinogenic drink Ayahuasca.
Kapok seed ile[edit | edit source]
A pressed seed ile can be derived frae the seeds o the kapok tree. The ile has a yellae colour an a pleasant, mild odour an taste. It haes similar characteristics tae cottonseed ile. It acomes rancid quickly when exponed tae air. Kapok ile is produced in Indie, Indonesie an Malaysie. It haes an iodine value o 85-100, which maks it a nondryin ile. This means that it daes nae dry oot signeeficantly when exponed tae the air. Kapok ile haes some potential as a biofuel an in paint preparation.
Seembolism[edit | edit source]
Gallery[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Gibbs, P. E.; Semir, J. Año (2003). "A taxonomic revision of the genus Ceiba Mill. (Bombacaceae)". ISSN 0211-1322. Retrieved 2013-06-22.
- Kapok seed oil From the German Transport Information Service
- Hellmuth, Nicholas (March 2011). "Ceiba pentandra". Revue Magazine.
- Philpott, Don (2003). Landmark Puerto Rico. Hunter Publishing, Inc. p. 14. ISBN 9781901522341.
- Berry, Bruce. "Equatorial Guinea". CRW Flags. Retrieved 2013-04-27.