Kapok Tree in Amazon Rainforest, Manaus, Brazil

The giant of the Amazon Rainforest is the kapok. The Brazilian name is samaúma. The tree often reaches a height of 200 feet or more. To stabilize such mass on flood-prone riverbanks, the trunks can grow up to ten feet wide and are supported by buttress roots. Indigenous people carve the lightweight wood into canoes. The seed oil is used to make soap and medicines.

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