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Bombax ceiba L.

Bombax malabaricum DC.
Gossampinus malabaricus (DC.) Merr.
Salmalia malabarica (DC.) Schott & Endl.

Group: Dicot
Family: Bombacaceae - Kapok-tree family
Growth Habit: Tree
Duration: Perennial

Bangla/Vernacular Name: Simul, Shimul-tula, Lalshimul.

Tribal Name: Pongchong (Bawm), Chapang (Khumi), Lakh Pine (Marma), Pang- sing (Murang), Chamful Gaith (Tanchangya).

English Name: Silk Cotton Tree.

Description of the Plant:

A large deciduous tree with tall trunk and spreading crown. Trunk and branches, particularly of young trees covered with large woody conical prickles. Leaves large, leaflets 3-7, palmately arranged, 15-30 cm long; petiole longer than the leaflets. Flowers large, yellow to bright red, numerous, fascicled at the end of the branches, appearing before the new leaves. Fruit oblong-obtuse, 5-valved, lined within with white silky hairs.

Chemical Constituents:

Stem and root bark contains lupeol, ß-sitosterol, naphthoquinone compound, phenolic substances, a lactone, 4 sesquiterpenes. Root yields triacontanol, ß- sitosterol and new glycosides. Flower petals, yield essential oil. It also contains hentriacontane, hentiracontanol, quercetin, kaempferol, ß-sitosterol, its glucoside and glucosides of pelargonidin and cyanidin; 3 biosides, flavonoids etc. (Asolkar et al., 1992).

Bombax ceiba L.

Bombax ceiba L.

Mode of Uses:

Flower petals boiled in water, mixed with nappee (crushed and processed small fish) and chili to prepare chutney (Bawm).

Cotton is used for pillow and blanket. Flowers are boiled in water is eaten as salad and also cooked as vegetable. Paste prepared from crushed flowers mixed with fruit shell of ripe banana and applied around the boils for boil suppuration (Khumi).

Flower paste applied to boils, itches and affected sore. Petal removed from the flower and rest of the part is cooked as vegetable. Cotton is produced from fruits is used to make pillows, blanket (Murang).

Juice prepared from the crushed root is taken in the morning to increase sex in male and clear bowels (Sandwip).


Cultivated throughout Bangladesh.

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