"Cotton" trees

Among the Brazilian savannah, you can find tropical trees of the family Malvaceae. They are similar to huge tubs. These trees reach a height of 60 m and more. From the top of the neck of the "tubs" departs several thick and curved branches. This so-called "cotton" trees.

The cotton trees have a very wide trunk with unusually developed buttresses, which are extensively covered with very large, prickly thorns

The "cotton" trees have a very wide trunk with unusually developed buttresses, which are extensively covered with very large, prickly thorns. Their leaves are palmate-complex and consist of 59 leaves 20 cm long, resembling the leaves of palm trees. Adult trees produce several hundred fruits large (15 cm) which containing seeds. The inner walls of the fruits are covered with numerous shiny yellowish fluffy hairs resembling cotton, representing a mix of lignin and cellulose.

During flowering "cotton" trees have a variety of beautiful flowers. Flowers are large and white.

"Cotton" trees sowing its seeds by the wind. To this end, to seeds fastened like a small "parachute" that helps them to stay in the air and fly long distances. Locals collect the seeds, separated fiber "parachutes" and is made from these fabrics. The fiber is light, buoyant, elastic, resistant to water and flammable. In addition, the fiber used for stuffing upholstery, lifejackets, circles, stuffed toys, as well as the insulation material. That is why "cotton" trees so called! From the seeds also get fatty oil, which replacing cotton. The oil used in the manufacture of soap or as a fertilizer.

In addition to Brazil, "cotton" trees cultivated in Southeast Asia, particularly on the island of Java, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

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