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Description for Bombax malabaricum, Red samel
This Asian tropical tree has a straight tall tree and its leaves are deciduous in winter. Red flowers with 5 petals appear in the spring before the new foliage. It produces a capsule which, when ripe, contains white fibres like cotton. Its trunk bears spikes to deter attacks by animals. Although its stout trunk suggests that it is useful for timber, its wood is too soft to be very useful.
Planting and care
It can easily be propagated by seeds. soak the seeds in water 12 hours before sowing. Seeds can be sown in a sunny position in nursery beds. Water the seeds regularly. Germination will start in 10 - 25 days. Transplant 5cm tall seedlings to individual containers and plant out 12 months later.
Caring for Bombax malabaricum
- Caring for this plant is very easy. As it is a drought tolerant plant, it does not require much watering.
- Water and fertilizer need only during the growing season, but once established it will perform well with occasional irrigation and no fertilizer.
- Prune the plant for maintaining its shape and size.
- Prune the damaged and diseased branches from the tree.
Typical uses of Bombax malabaricum
Special features: It is a plant of Jyehstha Nakshatra.
Culinary use: Its flower, flower bud, and young leaves are cooked as a vegetable. Ripe seeds are eaten roasted. Young roots are also eaten raw or roasted
Ornamental use: Can be grown as a single tree in the home garden and used for avenue planting.
Medicinal use: The extracts of the Silk Cotton Tree are beneficial in the treatment of male sexual disorders. It also has hemostatic properties and is administered during menorrhagia. Silk Cotton Tree extracts are also helpful in the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders like dysentery and diarrhea.
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