Shimul a tall, fleshy, deciduous tree, Bombax ceiba of the family Bombacaceae, attaining about 30-40 m in height with a straight bole, covered with numerous angular spines all over the stem. Bark is grey and very rough.
Flowers are large, reddish and showy. Fruits are oblong with silky hairs inside. The wood is soft, light and perishable. It occurs in the forest areas of Chittagong, Chittagong Hill Tracts, and Sylhet, and also grown and available all over Bangladesh.
It is mainly used in match industries for making match boxes and match splints. The wood has a great demand for packing cases, toys, second grade pencils, planking, coffins, etc. Cotton is used for making good quality pillow, bed, and mattress. Gum of the plant and roots have some medicinal value. [Md Mahfuzur Rahman]
See also cotton.