Gossypium (Gossypium australe)

GenusGossypium (1)
SizeHeight: 0.5 - 3 m (2)
Seed length: 1 - 1.5 mm (3)
Top facts

Gossypium australe has not yet been classified on the IUCN Red List.

Gossypium australe is a perennial woody shrub (2) (3) (4) (5) with cylindrical stems (3), and is one of 17 species within the Gossypium genus native to Australia (2) (3).

Sometimes referred to as the native cotton (6), Gossypium australe has large, ornamental flowers (3) (7) which are white, pink or blue-purple (2) (3) (7) and have a magenta spot at the base of each petal (3). In plants within the Malvaceae family, such as Gossypium australe, the flowering parts, including the petals, are usually found in fives (8). The long stamen filaments of this species are fused and have red anthers (3).

The leaves of Gossypium australe are broad and egg-shaped or slightly heart-shaped, and have a conspicuous scarlet nectar-producing gland, known as the nectary, located near the base of the mid-vein. The vegetative parts of this species are covered in soft hairs measuring just 0.1 millimetres in length (3).

Gossypium australe produces a capsule-like fruit (8). Its small seeds are egg-shaped (3) and are densely covered in short, stiff brown hairs (3) (9) that aid in wind dispersal (9).

Gossypium australe is a relatively widespread Australian species (3) (10) native to Western Australia (2) (3), Queensland and the Northern Territory (3).

Gossypium australe is an arid zone species (11), found in dry-monsoon and warm arid regions (3). It tends to occur on red, sandy soils (2), and large populations of this species are known to occur along roadsides in parts of its range (3).

Little information is available on the biology of Gossypium australe, although it is known to flower in spring or summer (7), usually between April and October (2), and has a fast growth rate (4). As an arid zone species (11), Gossypium australe is frost sensitive (7).

At present, Gossypium australe is not considered to be a threatened species (2).

There are currently no specific conservation measures known to be in place for Gossypium australe.

Find out more about Gossypium australe:

More information on plant conservation in Australia:

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:

  1. Tropicos (May, 2013)
  2. FloraBase: The Western Australian Flora - Gossypium australe (June, 2013)
  3. Tiwari, R.S. (2007) Molecular Diversity and Determination of Possible Natural Hybridization Among the Australian Arid Zone Gossypium Species (australe, bickii, nelsonii, sturtianum). ProQuest, Cambridge.
  4. Karban, R. and Baldwin, I.T. (2007) Induced Responses to Herbivory. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
  5. Sarr, D. et al. (2011) Isolation of five new monosomic alien addition lines of Gossypium australe F. Muell in G. hirsutum L. by SSR and GISH analyses. Plant Breeding, 130: 60-66.
  6. Sweedman, L. and Merritt, D. (Eds.) (2006) Australian Seeds: A Guide to Their Collection, Identification and Biology. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Australia.
  7. Alice SpringsTown Council: Recommended Plant Database - Gossypium australe (June, 2013)
  8. Heywood, V.H. (1978) Flowering Plants of the World. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  9. Stewart, J.McD., Oosterhuis, D.M. and Heitholt, J.J. (Eds.) (2010) Physiology of Cotton. Springer, London and New York.
  10. Paterson, A.H. (Ed.) (2009) Genetics and Genomics of Cotton. Springer, London and New York.
  11. Solitis, P.S. (1992) Molecular Systematics of Plants. Springer, London and New York.