Thursday, 8 August 2013

Red in all its Glory

This tree is in full bloom in a park not far from our place.

It is tall and gloriously red at the moment.

After research I have found out it is a Bombax Ceiba or Red Silk Cotton Tree or Red Cotton Tree.

It is a tropical tree that is found in India, South China, Taiwan, Myanmar to Vietnam, Philippines to Papua New Guinea and Australia.

It is thought to originate from Southern China or Indomalaysia

It flowers in spring and intensely for about 29 days. The flowers have five petals coming from a central point.

The trunk is covered in spikes to deter animals but as the tree ages they a worn down.

The fruit of the tree are pointed wooden capsule that are filled with silky hairs. These pods crack open and are also where the seeds are found.

The leaves have about 6 leaflets radiating from a central point.

The Red Silk Cotton Tree is deciduous and flowers before it regains its foliage.

The flowers grow singularly or in clusters.

The tree is commonly known as Semal or Shimul in India and is widely planted along roads and in parks.

According to Chinese record King of Nam Yuet, Chiu To, gave a tree to the Emperor of the Han Dynasty in the 2nd Century BC

The tree is very attractive to bees and bird life as well as making a great shade tree.

The dried core of the flower is an essential ingredient of Nam Ngiao a spicy noodle soup from Shan State and Northern Thailand. The flower also has other natural medicinal qualities.

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  1. These would look grand and gorgeous as street trees. Very interesting tree, thanks for sharing it :)

  2. Yes I agree they would look gorgeous along a street and would leave a carpet of red too. I thought it was interesting and pretty and have therefore told Mr Sparky that when it gets the fruit on/ seed pods that we should go collecting.

  3. What a wonderful tree, and so different from anything in my part of the world. Thanks for sharing.

  4. @ Rockysprings, yes it is a very grand looking tree and something I'd never seen until I moved here. I can definitely say I am learning and seeing new things living in the Tropics. Thanks for looking in and thanks for your comments.

  5. I want these trees lining my street. What a vibrant colour, simply stunning. Thanks so much for linking in and sharing.

  6. Hi Jacana, they are a beautiful, vibrant tree. Where I grew up Jacarandas and Silky Oaks lined the streets. The combination of the orange and purple was just magnificent. I love how towns strut their style like that. I enjoying linking in. Thanks for coming by and your comments.

  7. Wonderful contrast between the red and the blue.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  8. Thanks Stewart and thanks for dropping by.

  9. Hi there - I had ruled out the Northern SD as my field guide does not have as far south as Uluru - but I have found other sources that have records near Alice - so maybe.

    Anyway, thanks for the comment and link - and the picture in the link looks like mine, even if it is very small.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  10. It is in front of my home but no today nearby me knows about tree name itself. Thanks for the details. It's great!!!


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