Gossypium hirsutum

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Name and publication

Gossypium hirsutum L., Sp. Pl. ed. 2, 2: 975 (1763).


Broken capsules of cotton, sold as “cotton petals,” are one of the most frequent “fillers” in imported potpourri. American cotton or upland cotton is the source of most of the world’s cotton, so this identification is made on that fact. Gossypium herbaceum L., Levant cotton, is also another possibility. Capsule segments are boat-shaped, tapering to an acuminate tip, shiny on the interior, 1.5-3 cm long x 1-1.5 cm wide.

Nativity and distribution

Gossypium hirsutum is native to North and South America but widely cultivated.