There is disagreement over the correct spelling of the generic name. The Flora of China[
] and a number of other authorities spells it Ambroma, based on Fosberg (Micronesica 2: 150. 1966), but we have followed the treatment in GRIN and other recent works[
Abroma fastuosum Jacq.
Ambroma augustum (L.) L.f.
Theobroma augustum L.
Common Name: Cotton Abroma
Cotton abroma is a large, spreading shrub or small tree sometimes growing up to 10 metres tall, but more generally 1 - 4 metres when in cultivation[
The plant provides a high quality fibre that is mainly used locally. It also has local medicinal uses. Often harvested from the wild, it is also sometimes cultivated in tropical areas as a fibre crop and is sometimes grown as an ornamental[
The plant has irritating hairs[
E. Asia - China, Indian subcontinent, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines to Micronesia.
Forest margins, valley gullies in southern China[
]. Open, dry places at elevations from 300 - 1,100 metres in Nepal[
]. Commonly found in tufts or tickets, often seeming to prefer the edges of forests and clearings or the banks of watercourses[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
A plant of the tropics, where it is found at elevations up to 1,200 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 26 - 31°c, but can tolerate 18 - 36°c[
].It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,500 - 3,000mm, but tolerates 1,300 - 3,500mm, and dislikes marked dry seasons[
Requires a sunny position[
]. Succeeds in most soils, so long as they are well-drained, growing best in a fertile, medium loam[
]. Prefers a pH in the range 5 - 6, tolerating 4.5 - 6.5[
For the best quality fibre, the plant should be harvested when the flowers open - after about 100 - 120 days of growth[
The plant yields three crops a year, and is said to be more easily cultivated than jute (Corchorus spp.) or sunn hemp (Crotalaria juncea)[
The fresh viscid sap of the root bark is considered to be a valuable emmenagogue and uterine tonic[
]. The juice of the plant is used to treat dysmenorrhoea[
The root has been used to treat itch[
Used in the treatment of diabetes[
The plant is used in soil reclamation projects[
A high quality fibre is obtained from the bark[
]. Soft, glossy, strong, white, and clean, it is much valued for local uses[
]. It might be used as a substitute for silk[
]. Similar to jute (Corchorus spp.), it is a good cordage fibre used for making ropes, nets etc[
]. It is also used for false hair[
]. The bark is retted in water, taking about a week before the fibres can be removed[
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