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A picture of a Cotton


Gossypium hirsutum

Also known as

Upland Cotton, Mexican Cotton, American Cotton, Bourbon Cotton

Cotton plant by ChriKo (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Full Sun
Moderate care
Moderate watering


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size









  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

More images of Cotton

A Gossypium hirsutum plant with green leaves

Cotton Overview

Gossypium hirsutum is a shrubby species from the Malvaceae family. Commonly known by the names Cotton, Upland Cotton or Mexican Cotton, amongst others. It can be grown as an annual or perennial plant and typically grows to around 2m in height. This plant produces heart-shaped leaves up to 10cm long. The flowers are coloured white-yellow, developing pink-purple colouring with age, they lead onto capsule fruits measuring around 4cm long. These fruits contain many fluffy seeds Cotton is a tropical and subtropical plant that is commercially grown to make cotton fabric and thread. It is said to be the most widely planted cotton species in the world, with many cultivars being developed from this species. These cultivars can have different lengths of cotton fibres and different tolerances to a variety of growing conditions. Oil and a protein-rich flour are also obtained from the seed. The white fluff surrounding the seeds is used as cotton fabric and to make threads. The seeds can also be used to make oil or grind into flour. This species originates from Mexico to Ecuador and northeastern Brazil and there is evidence it has been cultivated since 3,500 BC.

How to harvest Cotton

The seedpod burst open and expose the fluffy ball of cotton to be harvested.

How to propagate Cotton


Sowing time in Spring. Sowing double the seed size. Germination time about 4-15 days if soil is warm.

Special features of Cotton

Crop rotation

Heavy feeder

Other uses of Cotton

The white fluff is used as cotton fabric and to make thread. The seeds can be used to make oil or grined into flour.


Cotton help promote blood clotting.


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