Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Gossypium herbaceum L., Sp. Pl. 693.1753; Masters in Fl. Brit. India 1: 346.1874.

Annual herbs or undershrubs, 1 - 1.5 m high; branchlets sparsely stellate-tomentose, glabrescent or glabrous. Leaves ovate-rounded, cordate at base, palmately 3, 5 or 7-lobed, lobes ovate-rounded or oblong-elliptic, acute or apiculate at apex; petioles 1.5 - 3.5 cm long; stipules 0.5 - 1 cm long, linear to lanceolate. Flowers axillary, solitary; pedicels 0.6 - 1.5 cm long. Epicalyx segments 1 - 2 cm long, ovate-cordate, slightly connate at base, gashed across the top into 7 - 9 fairly long lanceolate, teeth. Calyx 7 - 10 mm long, cup-shaped, undulate or truncate. Corolla yellow with purple centre; petals 2.5 - 3.5 x 2.5 - 4 cm, obovate. Staminal column ca 1 cm long. Capsules 3 - 4 cm long, ca 2.5 cm across, oblong-obtuse, 4-loculed. Seeds 5 - 7 in each locule, 5 - 8 x 3 - 6 mm, ovoid with floss and fuzz; floss greyish-white, fuzz grey.

Cultivated throughout in Cotton growing areas of India and throughout Tropical and subtropical regions of the Old World.

Notes. Hutchinson (Emp. Cott. Gr. Rev. 27: 123.1950) recognized 5 land races of this species based on geographical distribution. These land races are persicum (in South Central Asia), kuljianum (in Chinese Central Asia), acerifolium (in N. Africa and Arabia), wightianum (in Western India) and africanum (in S. Africa). The land race Wightianum includes nearly all the types of G. herbaceum grown in India.

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