When in bloom, kapok makes a spectacular specimen. This tree has beautiful satiny red, scarlet, and sometimes white petals growing up to 7″ wide, and blooms in mid-spring. Kapok is attractive to bees, butterflies, and birds. Dried flowers are used to make tea and are an essential spice in Kaeng khae curry. It is native to southeastern Asia. The fibers are excellent for stuffing mattresses and pillows. However, the seeds are poisonous if ingested, and there are conical spines on the trunk.
- Thorns or spines
- Toxic to humans