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More Information About Gossypium

The genus Gossypium contains about 50 species of small shrubs related to mallows (like hibiscus and okra) and distributed in tropical and sub-tropical areas around the world. This is also the genus that humans cultivate for cotton. Only a few species (Gossypium hirsutum, G. barbadense, G. arboretum, and G. herbaceum) are used for fiber production, but our primary interest here at Plant Delights Nursery is the ornamental Gossypium.

Like all plants in the Malvaceae family, gossypium flowers are fairly large and attractive. The flowers appear in midsummer. All species of gossypium produce a fruit, called a boll, which is a hard, round capsule that splits open upon maturity to reveal the seeds. The cotton boll always contains cotton fibers in it, but the ornamental gossypium species only produce small amounts of lint, not nice large cotton balls. Gossypium plants prefer well-drained soil and full sun, and the western species are also quite drought-tolerant. Before planting ornamental gossypium plants in your garden, make sure that you are at least a few miles from a farm that grows cotton so that you do not pick up and harbor the infamous cotton boll weevil. 

Gossypium is in the mallow family which includes other popular garden plants. Check out all the mallows here.