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Genus of the Week

Week of September 6-12

flower line - 2.2 K
This page has been created for people who want to learn more about plants, especially in the context of their taxonomy (Latin names, etc.). This is by no means an exhaustive list of all available Web resources for a particular genus.
If you like this page, you might also want to visit the Land of the Glandular Trichomes , a microscopic look at plants in the Lamiaceae family. Also, you can see my contribution to the Conservation New England web site, entitled "The Introduction of Non-Native Plants into Massachusetts".

This week's genus:


Subclass: Dicotyledoneae
Superorder: Dilleniidae
Order: Malvales
Family: Malvaceae
Tribe: Hibisceae
Number of Species: At least 5, not including cultivars.
Root: Pliny the Elder, the famous Roman scholar, called this plant "gossypion".

The genus Gossypium is the most economically important in the Malvaceae family, being the plant from which we derive the textile known as cotton. The clothing we wear actually comes from the tufted hairs that cover the plant's seeds. The most commonly grown species in the United States is G. hirsutum, though there are other species and polyploid varieties from which cotton cloth is made.

Here are a few links to images and descriptions of different Gossypium species:


  1. Heywood, V.H., ed. Flowering Plants of the World. New York, Oxford University Press: 1993.

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