A rounded shrub.
Evergreen in regions without freezes, otherwise deciduous.
2-4' high and 5-6' wide.
Large, pale yellow to white petals, forming a cup, with five red dots inside, enclose yellow
stamens at the center.
Spring through fall.
A four-chambered woody pod containing seeds covered with 1/8" long filaments, resembling tiny
Heart-shaped, glossy green, thick, nearly succulent, with five veins radiating from the base.
Sprawling, thick, gray-brown, somewhat brittle, no thorns.
Most likely a taproot and many lateral roots, similar to other closely related members.
The flowers attract butterflies and moths. It is a larval food plant for Painted Lady and
Gray Hairstreak butterflies and several moth species.
Toxic / Danger:
Baja California, Mexico.
Cultivation and Uses
USDA hardiness zones:
9b-11. This plant freezes to the ground at 25°F but is root hardy to 20°F.
Full sun. Shade limits plant growth.
Place in full sun in a location where cold air does not collect in the winter. Make sure that
the soil drains well, is low in organic content, and unamended.
Well drained, dry, low in organic content. This plant is salt tolerant and loves heat and
poor soil. Never apply organic soil amendments and never fertilize.
Water after becoming established:
every 2-4 weeks in warm months,
allowing for rain. Too much water results in leggy growth. Too little water results in
Never. Organic mulch, when rained on, supplies nutrients harmful to the plant.
First Year Care:
Protect from freezing.
Remove freeze damage after the danger of frost is past. At other times, minimally trim to
keep in bounds.
Low, except for hard freezes.
Gossypium harknessii is a wild cotton and a member of the Mallow family (Malvaceae). It is
related to the domesticated cotton species G. hirsutum – American / Mexican cotton, and
G. barbadense – Egyptian cotton.
Do you have additional information or a different experience for these plants that you would
like to share? Email info@GardenOracle.com. All contributions are welcome and appreciated.