Reaching heights of over 200 ft (60 m) high, this African species is
the tallest tree found in that continent.
It also occurs wild in South America but in tropical Asia is
considered introduced, having been planted for kapok production.
Its trunk is spiny when young and the branches are held
horizontally, giving the tree a distinctive pyramidal outline.
Showy white, yellow or pale pink flowers, 6 in (15 cm) in diameter,
are followed by 6 in (15 cm) long fruit.
Cultivation: They need regular rainfall, full sun, moist,
well-drained soil and steady, warm temperatures.
Propagate from seed or cuttings.
The flowers of
this useful tree are edible. They are used in curries for flavor and
to add some color.
The roots are
used as a diuretic and as a skin softener. The bark is useful for
treating diarrhea and dysentery.
(resin) can stop bleeding (Thai tobacco is also very good at
help sooth burns.
the seed pod is excellent stuffing for making mattresses and