COTTON-PLANT, COTTON-SHRUB, n. A plant or shrub of the genus Gossypium, of several species, all growing in warm climates. The principal species are, 1. The herbaceous cotton, with smooth leaves and yellow flowers, succeeded by roundish capsules, full of seeds and cotton; 2. The hairy American cotton, with hairy stalks and leaves, and yellow flowers succeeded by oval pods; 3. The Barbadoes shrubby cotton, has a shrubby stalk, yellow flowers and oval pods; 4. The arboreum or tree cotton, with a woody perennial stalk, bears yellow flowers and large pods. The first three species are annual plants; the last is perennial.

In the southern states of America, the cotton cultivated is distinguished into three kinds; the nankeen cotton, so called from its color; the green seed cotton, producing white cotton with green seeds. These grow in the middle and upper country, and are called short staple cotton. The black seed cotton, cultivated in the lower country near the sea, and on the isles near the shore, produces cotton of a fine, white, silky appearance, very strong and of a long staple. The seeds of the long staple cotton are separated by roller-gins. The seeds of the short staple cotton are separated with more difficulty, by a sawgin invented by E. Whitney.