20 seeds Gossypium herbaceum, Cotton-plant

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Gossypium herbaceum, Cotton seeds


Gossypium herbaceum is commonly known as Levant cotton. Other common names are Short-Staple American Cotton and cotton plant. It belongs to family Malvaceae and genus Gossypium. It grows naturally in Arabia and sub-Saharan Africa. It is widely distributed in the subtropical region. It grows well in a warm and moist climate where it has long summer and the soil is saline. It requires a temperature of 24 degrees centigrade. Plainlands or gently sloping land with loam saline soils is good for its growth. Annual rainfall of about 55-100 cm is necessary for plant growth.

G. herbaceum has stems that grow to a height of up to 6 feet. Have leaves that are wide and hairy. It bears small flowers that are yellow with a purple centre. During warm weather, when the flower is ripe, it burst to expose the cotton surrounding the seeds. The plant produces short cotton that measures about 5.1cm long. The cotton is firmly attached to the seed. About 140kg of cotton can be harvested in one acre. Fibres of cotton grow from the surface of the seeds and are separated from seed mechanically or by hand. Long fibres are referred to as cotton lint. The plant produces green, small flowers with pyramidical structures and is normally called squares. Self-pollination occurs, but where there is a high population of insect cross-pollination can occur.

Cotton lint is used in the manufacture of clothing in textile factories. The cotton plant has medicinal uses and has been used traditionally for women’s menstrual cycle pains and irregular bleeding. It has also been used after birth to expel the placenta and to increase lactation. The seeds have been used for food and animal feed. The oil is extracted from seeds and used domestically. The plant contains small glands in all its organs except the toxic roots. The glands are abundant in leaves and therefore, one needs to be careful when using Gossypium species. Elimination of Gossypol compound present in the oil is necessary before using the oil because this compound can cause severe growth and disorders in both humans and domestic animals. The plant can be grown commercially for value and the cotton sold to textile industries. Other parts of the plant can also be sold and one gets income from it. 


Germination is simple: let seeds soak with water for about 1 day, then plant about 0,5-1cm deep in moist soil and keep at a warm place. Keeping it moist and warm could be best obtained by covering the pot with foil, but it should be ventilated once a day. Because of the thick seed coat germination takes up to 6 weeks. You could speed up the process by taking a file or sandpaper and do some work on the seeds before letting them soak with water.

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