24. Gossypium Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 693. 1753; Gen. Pl. ed. 5, 309. 1754.
Cotton [Greek gossypion, cotton, or Arabic goz or gothn, a silky or soft substance] Cotton [Greek gossypion, cotton, or Arabic goz or gothn, a silky or soft substance]
Paul A. Fryxell
Steven R. Hill
Erioxylum Rose & Standley; Ingenhouzia de Candolle; Selera Ulbrich; Thurberia A. Gray
Shrubs [trees], hairy or glabrate, not viscid. Stems erect [or procumbent]. Leaves: stipules persistent, subulate or linear to falcate; blade ovate, unlobed, shallowly lobed, or deeply parted, base subcordate or cordate, margins entire, surfaces glabrous or stellate-hairy, often with abaxial foliar nectaries. Inflorescences axillary, solitary flowers or flowers sympodially arranged; involucellar bractlets deciduous or persistent, 3, distinct. Flowers: calyx not accrescent, not inflated, lobes sometimes unribbed, ovate or triangular, glabrous or hairy; corolla cream or yellow [rose], sometimes fading rose, with or without dark spot at center; staminal column included; ovary 3–5-carpellate; style unbranched; stigmas decurrent-clavate. Fruits capsules, erect, not inflated, ovoid or subglobose to oblong, leathery, usually glabrous. Seeds [2–]24, densely comose to glabrate or glabrous. x = 13.
Species ca. 50 (3 in the flora): s, sc United States, w Mexico, South America, Asia (Middle East), Africa, Australia; introduced nearly worldwide.
SELECTED REFERENCE Fryxell, P. A. 1992. A revised taxonomic interpretation of Gossypium L. (Malvaceae). Rheedea 2: 108–165.