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Article: Kapok picture book vol.1 - What is kapok? -

Kapok picture book vol.1 - What is kapok? -

“Kapok” was discovered far away in Indonesia.
We will bring you little-known facts about kapok.

What is Kapok tree?

Kapok is a deciduous tree belonging to the Malvaceae family.
The height of the tree is about 20 to 30 meters, but some large trees can reach 40 to 60 meters and 3 meters in diameter.

Another characteristic of the tree is that it has short spines on its trunk and branches.

kapok tree

Kapok distribution

Kapok is grown in Central America, the Caribbean Islands, northern South America, tropical West Africa, India, and Southeast Asia. It grows all over the world, especially in warm climates.
Origin: Tropical America/Tropical Africa. It requires little rainfall during the ripening stage, so it is suitable for climates with rainy and dry seasons.

It has been cultivated mainly in Southeast Asia for industrial purposes using the fluff obtained from the fruit.
Kapok is a plant that is mostly cultivated or grows naturally around private homes, and has the characteristic of being extremely easy to propagate and grow.

Growing and breeding kapok

It grows quickly and bears fruit after about 4 to 5 years, making it possible to collect fluff, and it continues to bear fruit for several decades.
It is said that each tree produces about 300 to 400 fruits.
Before ripening, the fruit contains water and is green in color, but it gradually loses water and after ripening, it dries and turns brown.

Kapok tree fruit

The fruit then splits open, and the cotton inside the fruit carries the seeds far away on the wind, much like a dandelion.

kapok cotton

Source: Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
Developing country forest business database BFPRO