bombax bŏm´băks [key], common name for the Bombacaceae, a family of deciduous trees, often tall and with unusually thick trunks, found chiefly in the American tropics. The family includes many commercially important members, e.g., the baobab ; the balsa, or corkwood ( Ochroma lagopus ), which yields the lightest lumber in the world; and the kapok and several species of the genera Bombax and Ceriba whose seed fibers are used as filling material. The Bombacaceae are classified in the division Magnoliophyta , class Magnoliopsida, order Malvales.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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