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GALGAL or YELLOW SILK COTTON Cochlospermum gossypium DC. (Order; Bixaceae).

Cochlospermum, a combination of two Greek words: Kochlos, shell or snail, and sperma, a seed, probably in allusion to the character of the fruit. Gossypium, cotton, in reference to the silky wool around the seed. Description: A small deciduous tree, 10-20 ft,, often with a stout trunk, smooth ashen bark and numerous branches; young branches covered with a soft down and marked with the scars of the fallen leaves. Leaves distant, disposed towards the ends of the branches, petioles 6-10 in. long, lamina 310 in. across, plamately fid with 3-5 lobes, margins serrate or dentate, dark green above, greyish below with a whitish down. Flowers in terminal clusters, 2.5-3.5 inches across, bright golden yellow; sepals 5, silky, overlapping, persistent or deciduous; petals 5, obovate, spreadings; stamens numerous, style long. Fruit a somewhat large capsule, 2.5-4 in. across and slightly longer, reddish before drying; seeds numerous, kidney-shaped, embedded in short silky wool. Distribution: A tree of the dry hilly, stony regions of peninsula India and the sub-Himalayan tract up to 3000 ft. and the dry zone of Burma and some of the islands of the Eastern Archipelago. Gardening: Propagated from seed. Inclined to be slender and taller in cultivation. Uses: In different districts various parts of the tree are used medicinally, as food and economically. The transparent gum is used by shoemakers and as a substitute for gum Tragacanth which it resembles. The seeds are roasted and eaten. A decoction from the wood mixed with flour is considered nutritious. Young leaves are used as an hair wash. The dry flowers and leaves are used as a stimulant.