Gossypium australe Malvaceae

Native Cotton

Form and Size: A small to medium, erect shrub, 1-4m high

Distribution: Widespread throughout arid areas of central Australia, as far north as Katherine, NT and Charters Towers, Qld

Leaves: Egg-shaped, sometimes slightly 3-lobed, blunt, hairy, greyish, 3-6cm x 1.5-3cm; a bright red gland at the base of the leaf

Flowers: Pink or mauve, centre dark red, 4-6cm diameter, 5 petals, showy, flimsy

Flowering Period: May to October and sporadic

Fruit: Capsules, globular, about 2cm long, hairy, 3-5 segments; seeds black, bristly hairy.

Distinguishing Features: Distinguished from G. sturtianum by the hairy, greyish leaves.

Cultivation/Notes: Propagate from seed, stem cuttings or root cuttings. This small, sparse shrub has very showy flowers but the plant tends to lose vigour very quickly. It can be rejuvenated by heavy pruning.