Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Gossypium arboreum L., Sp. Pl. 693. 1753; Masters in Fl. Brit. India 1: 347.1874.

Beng., Hindi, Guj., Mar. and Punj.: Kapas, Rui, Tula; Kan.: Hathi; Or.: Karpaso, Kopa; Tel.: Patti, Karpassmu.

Annual or perennial shrubs, 1 - 2 m high; branchlets densely covered with stellate and few simple hairs, ultimately glabrescent or glabrous, purple. Leaves ovate to orbicular, cordate at base, 3, 5 - or 7-lobed or parted with an extra tooth in the sinuses; petioles 1.5 - 12 cm long; stipules 0.5 - 1.5 cm long, linear to lanceolate, often falcate. Flowers axillary, solitary, pedicels 0.5 - 1.5 cm long. Epicalyx segments 1.5 - 3 x 1 - 2.5 cm ovate, cordate at base, acute at apex, entire or dent.ate, accrescent. Calyx ca 5 mm long, cupular, 5-dentate at tip. Corolla pale yellow, With or Without purple centre or occasionally completely red or purple; petals 3 - 4 cm long, obovate. Staminal column 1.5 - 2 cm long. Capsules 1.5 - 3 cm across, more or less rounded to ovoid or globular with 3 - 4 mm long beak 3 - 4 -loculed, locules 5 - 17 -seeded. Seeds 5 - 7 mm across with floss and fuzz, floss white or rusty.

Cultivated in India.

Notes. Hutchinson and Ghose (Ind. J. Agri. Sci. 7: 233. 1957) maintained 3 varieties of this species, viz. i) var. typicum includes wild and primitive cultivated perennial types (ii) var. neglectum to include cultivated annual types (iii) var. cemum comprising annual ecotypes of Assam and Bangladesh hill tracts. Again, based on distribution they divided each of the first two varieties into 4 forms viz. bengalense, indica, burmanica and sundanense.

Borssum Waalkes (l.c.) maintained 2 varieties under this species, viz. arboreum and obtusifolium (Roxb.) Roberty, the rust variety is only cultivated for experimental and ornamental purposes and the latter as a commercial crop.


1a. Leaves palmatiparted with linear to lanceolate segments 6.1. arboreum
b. Leaves palmatilobed to palmatifid with obovate, ovate or oblong segments 6.2. obtusifolium

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