- Agriculture, Forestry & Soils
- Field crops, grasses, plant fibers, spices, tree crops, herbs
- Kapok tree
Strausbaugh, Perry D. Formerly, Department of Botany, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia.
Core, Earl L. Formerly, Department of Biology, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia.
- Additional Readings
A tropical tree, Ceiba pentandra, of the family Malvaceae (formerly Bombacaceae) that produces pods that contain seeds covered with a silky, cottony fiber. The kapok tree is a large tree, often reaching 45–60 m (150–200 ft) in height. It occurs in the American tropics, including the Amazon, and has been introduced into Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and West Africa. The kapok tree has a bizarre growth habit and produces pods that contain seeds covered with silky hairs called silk cotton (see illustration); hence, the tree is also called the silk cotton tree. The silk cotton (also termed Java cotton) is the commercial kapok used for stuffing cushions, mattresses, and pillows. Kapok has a low specific gravity and is impervious to water; as such; it is an excellent material for filling life preservers. Kapok oil is a yellow-green oil that is derived by pressing seeds of the kapok tree. The oil has a pleasant aroma and taste; is soluble in alcohol, ether, and chloroform; and is used in edible oils and soap stock. See also: Fiber crops; Malvales; Natural fiber; Seed
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 9000 highly qualified scientists and 43 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8500 articles and Research Reviews covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information