Kakadu National Park

Wednesday 17 July 2019

The kapok bush produces stunning yellow flowers when it loses its leaves in the dry season.

These flowers develop into green, capsule-like pods, which harden, turn brown and split open to release seeds attached to a fluffy cotton-like material called kapok.

Culture

Bininj/Mungguy people have many uses for this small tree.

They eat the flowers (either raw or cooked) as well as the roots of the young plant. The fluffy kapok is used for ceremonial body decorations, while the bark can be made into string and paintbrushes.

The bush is a seasonal indicator that tells Bininj/Mungguy when food resources such as turtle and freshwater crocodile eggs are ready to harvest.

Other names

  • Scientific name: Cochlospermum fraseri