Bombax ceiba, commonly known as cotton tree or red cotton tree, is a deciduous tree with a straight tall trunk and extensive outreaching foliage. Large red flowers appear in Spring before the new foliage emerges. Oval-shaped fruits, when ripen, bursts of white fibre cotton.
Bombax ceiba produces white fluffy fibres which will be carded into thread and women into textiles, providing one of the most frequently used raw materials for our daily clothing. The tree also plays a vital role in Southern Chinese, especially Cantonese culture. During the peak of its flowering season, flowers are collected to dry for preparing tea and soup.