Saturday, August 20, 2011

TODAY'S FLOWERS # 157 - LINK IS NOW OPEN

This is the flower of the cotton plant. I was very surprised when I walked through the garden near the visitors' center at Walney Pond, and found these pretty blooms. I was even further surprised after discovering they were growing on a cotton plant. I had never seen one before and in pictures had only seen those fluffy balls of cotton before they are harvested.

I have since learned that there are several species of 'wild cotton' (cotton that grows uncultivated in the world). They have been found in Australia, Africa, Arizona, Central America, Lower California, Brazil, Mexico and other tropical countries and islands.

Because of problems with their refinement, they are not economically feasible to use. Through genetic assistance and breeding, today's cottons have evolved from these 'wild' sources and are more processing friendly.

Currently there are five prominent types of cotton being grown commercially around the world. They are Egyptian, Sea Island, American Pima, Asiatic and Upland. Because of their need for a long, sunny growing period with at least 160 frost free days, they are grown between latitudes 45 degrees north and 30 degrees south. The major producing countries within this region are the United States, People's Republic of China, India, Pakistan, and Republic of Uzbekistan. Also, Brazil, Australia, Egypt, Argentina, Turkey, Greece, Syria and other produce significant but lesser amounts.

In the U.S. there are 14 major cotton growing states that produce Upland Cotton. They are Alabama, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. Some cotton is also grown in Florida, Kansas and New Mexico.

American Pima Cotton is grown in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas. All these states form a region in the United States called the Cotton Belt and have three things in common, lots of sunshine, water and fertile soil, very important to growing a good cotton crop.

I found all my information and a lot more at this website.


There is also a great blog post that takes you through a step-by-step pictorial of cotton development. You can find that here.

TODAY’S FLOWER’S was created by our good friend Luiz Santilli Jr.

48 comments:

The Elephant's Child said...

They are pretty things. Water hungry too though. Thanks for sharing the pictures and the information. Loved it.

Janie said...

i have seen fields of cotton ready for harvest, all white and fluffy, but this is the first time I've seen the flower. Interesting info, Denise!

Kay said...

These really are pretty cotton blooms. It was fun to learn about Pima Cotton. I just bought some blouses made with Pima Cotton and it's so soft. Love it!

Craig said...

They're very delicate aren't they? Beautiful!

Valerie said...

I've never seen the actual flower before, it's really nice. Thanks for sharing the information with us.

eileeninmd said...

Great post and information on the cotton plant. the flowers are just lovely. I hope you have a great weekend!

Out on the prairie said...

I have grown it as an ornamental.

Cassy said...

So pretty and lovely flowers.

Cassy from Acoustic Guitar Lessons

Lyn said...

We have a Bog Cotton here in Yorkshire, it has a tuft of what looks like cotton wool on the top, Not sure if it is related!
xxx

imac said...

Beauty - about to open and blossom.

gigihawaii said...

Beautiful plant! Love it.

Margaret Cloud said...

Very pretty flower and thanks for the information. I have never seen a cotton field.

Ohio Outdoors said...

Like your blog. I appreciate you coming by mine and I'm following back.
Ohio Outdoors

SquirrelQueen said...

What a pretty bloom. I have never noticed cotton flowers either. I also had no idea there were so many different types of cotton....and I was raised in the South. Thanks for the information Denise.

Mama-Bug said...

Great post Denise. Here in NW Florida we are surrounded by lots of cotton fields. They start harvesting in late October. The blooms are so pretty.

p3chandan said...

Lovely! Ive seen this plant before but never knew its a wild cotton plant. Thanks for the info!

chubskulit said...

I love cotton blooms although I only seen white, the pink is gorgeous!

My share of fowers, have a nice weekend.

Carletta said...

I have to say Denise when your page opened I thought I was looking at a Rose of Sharon bloom.
I have seen fields of cotton but never these blooms.
That first shot is beautiful!

Rajesh said...

Very pretty flowers.

Life Ramblings said...

these are gorgeous blooms. lovely colours and textures.

Pieces of Sunshine said...

Very interesting and such pretty flowers too.

Leckeres fuer Mensch und Katze - Goodies for a pleasant life said...

Beautiful Weekendflowers :)

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

So pretty and good to read about them Denise. A x

Sunray Gardens said...

Nice flowers and photos. I am following you back. Thanks for stopping by.
Cher Sunray Gardens

Cecilia Artista said...

Lovely photos of the cotton flower!
I have seen cottonfields in Spain but never a cotton flower.
Thank´s for sharing both photos and the interesting text!

easygardener said...

Thanks for the information. I had no idea what a cotton plant looked like. The flower is beautiful.

LauraX said...

these are such beautiful delicate blossoms Denise...I love the pink especially.

Luna Miranda said...

i saw some cotton plant in my grandfather's farm when i was a kid but haven't seen this lovely pink blossom. great photos.

Charlene: the Polarblogger said...

Gorgeous macro! I love the pink and green color combination.

Pat said...

Interesting stuff. They plant cotton in the elementary school garden, but I've never noticed the flowers, only the cotton.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Gorgeous! We toured a cotton plantation a few years ago and we too were so surprised to learn that the plants flowered.

Carver said...

I never would have know they were flowers from a cotton plant. They are lovely.

Míriam Luiza said...

Hoje aprendi muitas coisas com seu post! Além de ter lindas fotos de flores, ainda é informativo! Abraços e boa semana!

Misty Dawn said...

They are beautiful, and what a truly fantastic, informative post!

SandyCarlson said...

These are very beautiful. They make me think of the Rose of Sharon.

NatureFootstep said...

wow, this was a surprise for me too. I did not know the flowers is so delicate. Thanks for sharing them.

Mama Zen said...

I would never have guessed that was cotton!

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

We have passed by some cotton fields here on the VA eastern shore, but very few. I had never seen a cotton bollm before so this one was wonderful as was the information, Denise.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I never expected cotton plants to be so pretty. I live in a cave!! sorry

Nayana said...

ohh...I m seeing the flower of cotton plant first time and I loved ur last click.so delicate color.

lazyclick said...

Beautiful shots of flowers.

dona said...

The flower of the cotton plant is really nice! I'd never seen it.

Caroline said...

Lovely pics, I especially like the first one!

Halcyon said...

Beautiful flowers!

Denise said...

To all of you, thank you for visiting and for all the sweet comments.

Chesney said...

Wow, these are all just beautiful...love that first bloom, so much detail!

Thanks for stopping by my blog, appreciate the kind comment!

Icy BC said...

They look so beautiful and at first they look like rose of sharon!

lina@women's perspectives said...

I've never noticed the flower of the cotton plant before...