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Cotton, Tree (Gossypium arboreum) potted plant, organic


Family:  Mallow (Malvaceae)

Hardy to Zones 10 to 12, otherwise nicely grown as a potted plant in greenhouse or solarium

(Tree Cotton, Mpamba mwitu) Shrub to 6 feet tall.  Protect from frost.  Excellent choice to have for a plant in a pot in a solarium or tropical greenhouse. Native to India and introduced to East Africa (where I found it) about 2,000 years before the present.  Source of a high quality long fibre cotton that has been used in textile manufacture since antiquity.  The cotton is also used by fishermen to calk between boards of the dhow.  On Pemba or dockside in Stone Town, one can often hear the tap-tap-tapping of mallets as the fundis calk their boats. When harvesting this seed, I came away with the largest, fiercest preying mantis I’d ever seen, a truly african form of the insect, adhering to my biceps with claws that were loathe to detach.  I have to admit, I screamed!  The shrubs are pretty and robust, studded with the flaring yellow, pink, or white flowers and pendant gobs of cotton.  Plant prefers sun to part shade and rich, well-drained soil.  Space trees 5 feet apart.

Potted plant, certified organically grown

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