Bombax ceiba, Linn.

(Syn. Bombax malabaricum, Salmalia malabarica)

Family: Bombacaceae

Common Name : Silk Cotton Tree

Telugu Name : Buruga


General :

It is distributed throughout Andhra Pradesh, usually occurring scattered in mixed deciduous forests. Identified by young stem and branched covered with straight stout prickles and digitate leaves. Good growth of this species is obtained in deep alluvial soils having a considerable portion of sand and good moisture supply.

Flowering :

Bright crimson flowers appear in February-March when the tree is usually leafless.

Fruiting :

Fruits ripen from March to May.

Morphology of the Fruit/Seed :

Capsules 10 to 18 cms long; oblong-ovoid, loculicidally 5-valved, lined with silky hairs within. Seeds many, obovoid, smooth, enveloped in dense silky floss, oily.

Seed Collection and Storage :

Ripe fruits are collected before they open (generally in April-May); dried in the sun to open and release the seeds with cotton. The seeds are separated from the floss by putting them in gunny bags and thrashing with a stick. Fresh seeds are used for germination.

Seed Biology :

No.of seeds per kg.

Germination percentage

Plant percent

Period of Germination in days

21,430 to 38,500

14 to 75

7 to 31

10 to 25


Fresh seeds do not require any pretreatment.

Nursery Technique :

The seeds are sown in May in primary beds in lines, 15 cms a part. When seedlings attain 5 cms height, they are pricked out into the polythene bags. Seedlings  are planted  out in   July   August  in 30cm 3 pits.