Mexican Cotton
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Mexican Cotton
ntroduced Photo: Dinesh Valke
Common name: Mexican Cotton, Upland Cotton, Wild Cotton, American cotton, American upland cotton, Bourbon cotton, common cotton • Assamese: কপাহ kapah • Bengali: কাপাস kapasa, কার্পাস karpasa • Gujarati: કાપડ OR કપાસ kapas • Hindi: कार्पास karpas, कार्पासी karpasi • Kannada: ಹತ್ತಿ hatti • Konkani: कापस kapas, काप्पुस kappus • Malayalam: കാര്‍പ്പാസം kaarppaasam • Marathi: कार्पास karpasa • Nepali: कपास kapas • Sanskrit: चित्रदण्डकः chitradandakah, गुडा guda, कर्पासः karpasah, कार्पासी karpasi, कार्पासिका karpasika • Tamil: பருத்தி parutti • Telugu: ప్రత్తి pratti • Urdu: کارپاس karpas, کارپاسي karpasi
Botanical name: Gossypium hirsutum    Family: Malvaceae (Mallow family)
Synonyms: Gossypium mexicanum, Gossypium religiosum

Mexican Cotton is a coarse subshrub native to Central America. In Indian climates, it is biennial or perennial and will grow to 5 feet tall. It has heart-shaped leaves that are 3-5 lobed reaching up to 6 inches across. Mexican Cotton blooms in summer when grown outside, but when grown in the greenhouse plants can bloom at any time of the year. The white to yellowish flowers are up to 3.5 inches across. They are followed by 1.5 inch long fruits. Fruits are 3-5 celled with 5-11 seeds per cell producing copious lint and fuzz. The splitting capsules are well armed making it an uncomfortable plant to harvest by hand. Cotton plants have been grown the world over for centuries as the source of cotton fibers.

Identification credit: Gurcharan Singh Photographed at Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary, Maharashtra & Zarwani Forest, Gujarat.

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