Types of cotton

Types of cotton

Aug 09, 2018

There are four commercially grown species of cotton, all domesticated in antiquity:

Gossypium hirsutum – upland cotton, native to Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean and southern Florida.

Gossypium barbadense – known as extra-long staple cotton, native to tropical South America.

Gossypium arboreum – tree cotton, native to India and Pakistan. 

Gossypium herbaceum – Levant cotton, native to southern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. 

The two New World cotton species account for the vast majority of modern cotton production, but the two Old World species were widely used before the 1900s. While cotton fibers occur naturally in colors of white, brown, pink and green, fears of contaminating the genetics of white cotton have led many cotton-growing locations to ban the growing of colored cotton varieties.