seeds of Gossypium hirsutum Upland Cotton

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Gossypium hirsutum Samen
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Gossypium hirsutum, also called upland cotton, is a plant species belonging to the family Malvaceae. The plant’s synonyms include Gossypium barbadense var. hirsutum, Gossypium birkinshawii and Gossypium caespitosum. Another common name for the plant is Mexican cotton. The plant has its origins in Mexico, Central America, Northern South America, and the West Indies. The United States is the largest cotton exporter in the world. Gossypium hirsutum can grow to a height of 1.5 metres. The leaves are almost round-shaped and multi-lobed. Flowers are pink, yellow or cream and grow in clusters. The epicalyx comprises three big bracts that resemble leaves. Fruits occur in the form of capsules 2 to 4 cm in diameter. The fruits eventually split which releases seeds covered in cotton wool. The plant’s seeds are edible, and one can roast them and benefit from their nutty flavour and high protein content. Alternatively, one can grind the seeds into a powder that is perfect for flavouring pastries. It is also possible to draw a spread similar to butter from the seeds and use it for various culinary applications. Boiling the seeds makes them a perfect substitute for rice in soups and casseroles. The seeds also serve as a source of an oil extract that is used in cooking, salads and making of margarine. Additional use of the oil lies in the manufacture of lubricants, soap, and protective coatings. The plant’s leaves are the source of herbal medicine that aids in the clearing of rashes in children. Extraction of oil from the seeds leaves behind a seedcake that serves as excellent manure. The demand for the seeds cotton fibres drives a big chunk of the plant’s cultivation around the world. The cotton fibres are the ideal raw material in the manufacture of ropes, clothes, stuffing materials and rubber-tyre fabrics. The plant takes 180 to 200 days from planting to maturity.
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