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Desert Cotton

Gossypium thurberi

Details & Attributes

Plant Type(s) Shrub
Native to Arizona Yes!
Water Needs Low
Sun Full sun, partial shade
Pollinators Butterflies, moths, bees
Has Spines No
In relative feet, width by height
5-10' × 4-8'
Flowering Season August-November
Flower Color White/pink
Minimum Temperature Range 20-25 °F
Leaf Description Three lobed to palmate (arranged like a palm)
Fruit 3-chambered globe-like capsule
View on SEINet View SEINet Entry
Range Map View SEINet Range Map
Elevation Range 2500-8000 ft.
Description Found mostly in southern Arizona, this plant can be quite abundant in the grasslands surrounding sky island ranges. Particularly fond of hillsides, and well draining soils, it is not ideal to plant into heavy, compacted dirt. In habitat plants are generally about 3-5' but can easily reach 7+ in cultivation, becoming a large shrub to small tree. This plant is notable for its gorgeous and profuse white/pink blossoms, and its persistant 3-capsuled seed pods. One attractive feature of this plant is that, though deciduous (drops leaves in winter), it is one of the only desert plants which takes on a red coloration to the foliage in fall.