Tree to 150 ft. or more. The trunk flares into several usually narrow buttresses at the bottom. The main branches tend to be nearly horizontal. Fruit is a large pod containing numerous brown-black seeds covered by whitish hairs which originate in the pod wall.
Rainforest; cultivated as a useful tree.
The pods look like large milkweed pods and contain a springy, cottony mass of floss. This is the kapok once used in life preservers before synthetic fibers were available. Each fiber has a waxy coating and is water repellent. The tree is bat pollinated and produces flowers that are fragrant at night.