Gossypium herbaceum Linn., Sp. Pl. 693. 1753. Stewart in Nasir & Ali, l.c. 478.
Shrubby or herbaceous, annual or perennial. Branches, petioles and pedicels stellate tomentose with or without simple spreading hairs. Leaves globular in outline, 2-5 cm long and broad, glabrescent above, margin hairy, nerves beneath with stellate pubescence, sometimes mixed with simple hairs, deeply cordate at base, palmately (3-) 5 (-7)-lobed; lobes oblong, obovate, oblong-elliptic or broadly ovate, entire, apiculate or obtuse at apex; stipules linear-lanceolate or obliquely ovate, 6-12 mm long, 1.5-5 mm broad; petiole 2-3.5 cm long. Pedicel 7-15 mm long. Epicalyx segments 1-2 cm long and broad, deeply cordate at base, 6-8 toothed or lobed at apex, 2-7 mm long, central one largest; teeth lanceolate. Calyx cup shaped, densely black dotted 7-10 mm long and broad, undulately 5-lobed or truncate. Corolla 4-6 cm across, yellow with crimson centre; petals 2.5-3.5 cm long, 3-4 cm broad, obovate. Staminal column 1 cm long, antheriferous in the upper half. Capsule oblong or rounded, 2.5-3 cm long and broad, beaked at apex, 3-5 celled, pitted, glabrous. Seeds 5-7 in each cell 6-9 mm long, 3-7 mm broad, ovoid, with long white hairs (lint) overlaying a greyish or white fuzz.
Holotype: HU. Linn. Herb. n. 874. 1 (LINN!).
Distribution: Cultivated in some countries. According to Prokhanov (1949) this species represents an ancient local crop of Soviet Central Asia, and of adjacent Iran and Afghanistan. In Pakistan it is not recommended for cotton. It is, however, cultivated occasionally in dry parts of Baluchistan. It has also been collected in wild forms by Stocks (vide Masters 1867), Jafri (1966) and the present author.