NOM. VULG.—Boboy, Tag.; Doldol, Vis.; Bulak kastila, Pam.
USES.—The principal use made of this plant in the Philippines is to stuff the pillows with the cotton that it yields. The leaves, pounded with a little water, yield a mucilaginous juice highly prized by the natives as a wash for the hair, mixing it with gogo. The root bark is emetic in dose of 1.25 grm. The cotton yielded by this tree should be used for the same therapeutic purposes as that of gossypium, and being of an exceedingly fine fiber it would give better results.
The Filipinos use it to treat burns and sores. I have often used it, being careful always to impregnate it thoroughly with some antiseptic solution. In the treatment of burns it has been my custom to envelope the part in a thick layer of this cotton, after bathing it with a tepid 1–2,000 solution of corrosive sublimate and dusting with a very fine powder of boracic acid.
BOTANICAL DESCRIPTION.—A tree 40–50° high. Trunk somewhat thorny, the branches horizontal, arranged in stars of 3–4. Leaves compound with 7 leaflets, lanceolate, entire, glabrous. Flowers in umbels of 8 or more flowerets. No common peduncle, the individual ones long. Calyx, 5 obtuse sepals, slightly notched. Corolla, 5 fleshy petals, obtusely lanceolate and bent downwards.
Stamens 5. Anthers of irregular shape, peltate, with the borders deeply undulate.
Stigma in 5 parts. Pod 4–6′ long, spindle-shaped. Seeds enveloped in very fine cotton fiber.
HABITAT.—Exceedingly common in all parts of the islands. Blooms in December.
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