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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 6 | Malvaceae

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.

1 Involucellar bractlets broadly cordate-ovate, margins laciniate; petals 2–5 cm; capsules 2–4 cm; seeds comose (cottony); leaf blades shallowly lobed, lobes broadly ovate.   2 Gossypium hirsutum
+ Involucellar bractlets ligulate, margins entire or apically toothed; petals 1.5–4.5 cm; capsules 1–1.5 cm; seeds glabrous, glabrate, or strigose (not cottony); leaf blades unlobed or lobes narrowly lanceolate   (2)
2 (1) Involucellar bractlets deciduous before anthesis, margins entire; petals 2.5–4.5 cm, yellow; seeds 8 mm, strigose (hairs brownish, tightly appressed); leaf blades unlobed; petioles terete.   1 Gossypium armourianum
+ Involucellar bractlets persistent, margins entire or apically toothed; petals 1.5–2.5 cm, cream; seeds 3–4 mm, glabrous or glabrate; leaf blades 3–5-lobed, lobes narrowly lanceolate (4+ times as long as wide); petioles quadrangular.   3 Gossypium thurberi

Lower Taxa


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