Taxon: Gossypium herbaceum L.

Genus: Gossypium
Subgenus: Gossypium
Section: Gossypium
Subsection: Gossypium
Family: Malvaceae
Subfamily: Malvoideae
Tribe: Gossypieae
Nomen number: 17915
Place of publication: Sp. pl. 2:693. 1753
Link to protologue:
Name Verified on: 10-Aug-1999 by ARS Systematic Botanists. Last Changed: 05-Nov-2001
Species priority site is: Cotton Collection (COT)
Accessions: 208 in National Plant Germplasm System (GoogleMap)

Common names:

  • Arabian cotton  (Source: Dict Econ Pl) - English
  • Levant cotton  (Source: Fasc F India) - English
  • Maltese cotton  (Source: Dict Econ Pl) - English
  • short-staple cotton  (Source: AH USDA) - English
  • Syrian cotton  (Source: Dict Econ Pl) - English
  • cotonnier d'Asie  (Source: Dict Rehm) - French
  • cotonnier herbacé  (Source: Dict Rehm) - French
  • gewöhnliche Baumwolle  (Source: Zander Ency) - German
  • krautiger Baumwollstrauch  (Source: Dict Rehm) - German
  • shiro-bana-wata  (Source: F Okin) - Japanese Rōmaji
  • algodoeiro-asiático  (Source: Dict Rehm) - Portuguese
  • algodonero  (Source: Dict Rehm) - Spanish
  • algodonero herbáceo  (Source: Dict Rehm) - Spanish
  • indisk bomull  (Source: Kulturvaxtdatabas) - Swedish
  • cao mian  (Source: F ChinaEng) - Transcribed Chinese

Economic Importance:

  • Human food: oil/fat (from seeds fide Cornucopia)
  • Animal food: fodder (seed cakes fide Dict Econ Pl; Pl Book)
  • Gene sources: primary genetic relative of tree cotton (based on fertile hybrids from crosses with A-genome Gossypium arboreum fide Genet Genom Cotton 82. 2009)
  • Gene sources: tertiary genetic relative of New World cotton (based on meiotic irregularities in hybrids with Gossypium hirsutum fide Genetics 27:36. 1942)
  • Gene sources: tertiary genetic relative of Sea Island cotton (based on meiotic irregularities in hybrids with Gossypium barbadense fide Genetics 27:36. 1942)
  • Materials: fiber (fide Nat Hist Cotton 64. 1979)
  • Medicines: folklore (fide CRC MedHerbs ed2; Herbs Commerce ed2)
  • Vertebrate poisons: mammals (fide Kellerman et al.)

Distributional Range:


  • Africa

    • South Tropical Africa: Mozambique ; Zimbabwe
    • Southern Africa: Botswana ; Namibia ; South Africa KwaZulu-Natal, Transvaal; Swaziland

  • Cultivated

  • Africa

    • Africa
  • Asia-Temperate

    • China: China
    • Middle Asia: Tajikistan ; Turkmenistan ; Uzbekistan
    • Western Asia: Afghanistan
  • Asia-Tropical

    • Indian Subcontinent: India


  • Aldén, B., S. Ryman, & M. Hjertson Svensk Kulturväxtdatabas, SKUD (Swedish Cultivated and Utility Plants Database; online resource on 2012 (Kulturvaxtdatabas)
  • Ali, S. I. & S. M. H. Jafri, eds. Flora of Libya. 1976- (F Libya)
  • Arnold, T. H. & B. C. De Wet, eds. Plants of southern Africa: names and distribution. Mem. Bot. Surv. S. Africa no. 62. 1993 (Pl SAfr)
  • Beasley, J. O. 1942. Meiotic chromosome behavior in species, species hybrids, haploids, and induced polyploids of Gossypium (Genetics) 27:25-54.
  • Beasley, J. O. 1940. The production of polyploids in Gossypium J. Heredity 31:39-48.
  • Brink, M. & R. P. Escobin, eds. 2003. Fibre plants (Pl Res SEAs) 17:139-150.
  • Campbell, B. T. et al. 2010. Status of the global cotton germplasm resources Crop Sci. (Madison) 50:1161-1179.
  • Cotton Crop Germplasm Committee Cotton germplasm status report and crop vulnerability status. 2005 (Cotton Status Rep) 18.
  • Cotton Division AMS 1980. The classification of cotton U.S.D.A. Agric. Handb. 556:1.
  • Cufodontis, G. Enumeratio plantarum aethiopiae: Spermatophyta. 1953-1972 (F EthiopCuf)
  • Duke, J. A. et al. CRC Handbook of medicinal herbs. 2002 (CRC MedHerbs ed2)
  • Erhardt, W. et al. Der große Zander: Enzyklopädie der Pflanzennamen. 2008 (Zander Ency)
  • Exell, A. W. et al., eds. Flora zambesiaca. 1960- (F Zamb)
  • Facciola, S. Cornucopia, a source book of edible plants. 1990 (Cornucopia)
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) 2010. Ecocrop (on-line resource). (Ecocrop)
  • Fryxell, P. A. 1976. A nomenclator of Gossypium. The botanical names of cotton Techn. Bull. U.S.D.A. 1491:38.
  • Fryxell, P. A. 1992. A revised taxonomic interpretation of Gossypium L. (Malvaceae) (Rheedea) 2:147.
  • Fryxell, P. A. 1979. The natural history of the cotton tribe. 1979 (Nat Hist Cotton) 64.
  • Kulkarni, V. N. et al. The worldwide gene pools of Gossypium arboreum L. and G. herbaceum L., and their improvement (Genet Genom Cotton) 69-97.
  • Liberty Hyde Bailey Hortorium Hortus third. 1976 (Hortus 3)
  • Markle, G. M. et al., eds. Food and feed crops of the United States, ed. 2. 1998 (Food Feed Crops US)
  • McGuffin, M., J. T. Kartesz, A. Y. Leung, & A. O. Tucker Herbs of commerce, ed. 2. 2000 (Herbs Commerce ed2)
  • Nasir, E. & S. I. Ali, eds. Flora of [West] Pakistan. 1970- (F Pak)
  • Paul, T. K. & M. P. Nayar 1988. Malvaceae (Fasc F India) 19:115.
  • Personal Care Products Council International Nomenclature Cosmetic Ingredient (INCI)
  • Porcher, M. H. et al. Searchable World Wide Web Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database (MMPND) (on-line resource). (Pl Names)
  • Rehm, S. Multilingual dictionary of agronomic plants. 1994 (Dict Rehm)
  • Renny-Byfield, S. et al. 2016. Independent domestication of two Old World cotton species (Genome Biol Evol) 8:1940-1947.
  • Townsend, C. C. & E. Guest Flora of Iraq. 1966- (F Iraq)
  • Tutin, T. G. et al., eds. Flora europaea. 1964-1980 (F Eur)
  • Uphof, J. C. T. Dictionary of economic plants, ed. 2. 1968 (Dict Econ Pl)
  • Walker, E. Flora of Okinawa and the southern Ryukyu Islands. (F Okin)
  • Wendel, J. F. & V. A. Albert 1992. Phylogenetics of the cotton genus (Gossypium): character state weighted parsimony analysis of chloroplast-DNA restriction site data and its systematic and biogeographic implications Syst. Bot. 17:115-143.
  • Wendel, J. F. et al. 2009. Evolution and natural history of the cotton genus (Genet Genom Cotton) 3-22.
  • Westengen, O. T. et al. 2005. Genetic diversity and geographic pattern in early South American cotton domestication Theor. Appl. Genet. 110:392-402.
  • Wiggins, I. L. Flora of Baja California. (F Baja)
  • Wu Zheng-yi & P. H. Raven et al., eds. Flora of China (English edition). 1994- (F ChinaEng)


Check other web resources for Gossypium herbaceum L. :


  • Seed: U.S. National Seed Herbarium image