Gossypium hirsutum

Gossypium hirsutum L.

Common Names: Cotton

Family: Malvaceae

Habit: Gossypium hirsutum grows as a shrub to 4 m in height. The leaves are arranged alternately, ovate, 3-5 lobed, to 20 cm in length, with an entire leaf margin, acute/acuminate leaf apex and slightly cordate leaf base.

The complete, perfect, actinomorphic flowers are solitary in leaf axils. They are subtended by 3 bracts.  The calyx has 5 partially fused green sepals that are pubescent interiorly and have a gland at the base. The corolla has 5 unfused light yellow (changing to pink with age) petals.  There are numerous stamens fused together around the style in a column.  The ovary is superior with 3 locules and numerous seeds.  The fruit is a loculicidal capsule.  The seeds are covered in thick long white pubescence.

The vegetation and flowers have punctate spots.

Habitat: Gossypium hirsutum grows in Human Altered environments (yards, disturbed areas, old fields).

Distribution: Gossypium hirsutum is NOT native to the Lucayan Archipelago.  It is native to Mexico, Central and northern South America.  It has been introduced throughout the world.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Gossypium hirsutum is not known to be used medicinally in the Lucayan Archipelago.

Gossypium hirsutum had been grown in the Lucayan Archipelago for the production of cotton.  It is now an escaped weed.