Red Silkcotton Tree

(Bombax ceiba) A kapok tree, originally from India and Burma south-eastwards to Australia, but now grown in the West Indies, where they say it is the haunt of ghosts and other spirits, probably the kapok suggesting it. Hence its names Jumbie Tree and Devil's Tree. Anyone trying to cut one down could expect harm (Bell), unless, that is, he had propitiated the duppy with rum and rice put round the root.

In China, the flowers have been used to apply to boils, sores and the itch, while in Indonesia juice from the roots (gathered before sunrise) is taken to lower fever, and serves as a mouthwash and gargle to treat thrush in infants (L. M. Perry).

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