Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Tree Cotton, Creole Cotton, Sea Island Cotton
Gossypium barbadense

Family: Malvaceae (mal-VAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Gossypium (gos-SIP-ee-um) (Info)
Species: barbadense (bar-buh-DEN-see) (Info)

6 members have or want this plant for trade.


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)
10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)
12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Pale Yellow

Bloom Time:
Blooms all year
Blooms repeatedly


Other details:
May be a noxious weed or invasive
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season
Flowers are good for cutting
Flowers are good for drying and preserving

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
Direct sow as soon as the ground can be worked
From seed; germinate in vitro in gelatin, agar or other medium

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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By palmbob
Thumbnail #1 of Gossypium barbadense by palmbob

By palmbob
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By Monocromatico
Thumbnail #6 of Gossypium barbadense by Monocromatico

By ilima
Thumbnail #7 of Gossypium barbadense by ilima

There are a total of 13 photos.
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No positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral seedemon On Sep 22, 2009, seedemon from Rincon, GA wrote:

I don't want to make this "negative" because the cotton plant I bought is growing so amazingly tall- almost 6 feet tall- beautiful big green leaves, but this is what I need help with- anyone who knows please reply- it has never given out with a single flower or pod. What do I have to do to get flowers and pods? It has been growing all summer and now it is fall, and so there has been plenty of time. In fact, my Southern Gossypium already has had pods ripen. Is this barbadense variety male and female? Advise please! Thanks!

Neutral palmbob On Oct 29, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

globoid shrub to tree that is used in medicine a lot for its production of Gossypol, which has antifungal, antitumor and other medicinal uses.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Rincon, Georgia
Kihei, Hawaii
Vieques, Puerto Rico

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