It’s that time of the year when you’re likely to find the Semul tree in all its glory—its beautiful red-coloured flowers crowning its branches. The phenomenon paints the landscape in an enchanting red hue.
What you see on the header of this blog is a brilliant example of Semul with its flowers–the image sent by a friend posted in Jadugoda.
Also called Silk Cotton tree (Salmalia malabarica), it is the largest and most beautiful tree of the Indian subcontinent. Alternatively it’s also known Bombax malabaricum.
Light in weight, semul seed has hairs all around. The arrangement helps the seed to drift in wind to reach far and wide tracts. Its natural germination and regeneration are accordingly easy. The species can also regenerate itself from root suckers and cuttings.
The fruit, the size of a ping-pong ball, on maturity appears during March and April. These are full of cotton-like fibrous stuff, called “kopak” which villagers gather to fill pillows, quilts, sofas etc.
I have asked my friend to bring couple of seeds next time he visits meet me. One day I hope to have enough cotton to make a pillow.Who wants to use a foam pillow, at least not during the summers.