Also called Java cotton, ceiba, or Java kapok.
The kapok is deciduous, dropping its foliage after seasonal rainy periods. Flowering occurs when the tree is leafless.Only a few flowers on a given branch will open . The fibres are referred to as silk cotton and is yellowish brown, lightweight, and lustrous.
The seed and fibre, removed from the pods by hand, are stirred in a electric drum; the seeds fall to the bottom, leaving the fibres free. The seeds may be processed to obtain oil for making soap, and the residue is used as fertilizer and cattle feed.
Kapok is a moisture-resistant, quick-drying, resilient, and buoyant fibre. The fibres contain both lignin, a woody plant substance, and cellulose, a carbohydrate. The inelastic fibre, or floss, is too brittle for spinning, but it weighs only one-eighth as much as cotton.
Kapok is used as stuffing for mattress, pillows, as insulation material, us a substitute for absorbent cotton in surgery, and floss has been used in life preservers and other water-safety equipment.