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Desert Cotton

Posted by magicgarden_az Z9 (My Page) on
Wed, Feb 13, 08 at 14:43

Has anyone tried planting cotton? It has a pretty white flower with a little bit of pink. I understand it does well in SW Arizona. But, I am wondering how big it gets and if it really can take full summer sun. I wonder how woody the stems get, too. It sounds like an interesting plant - anyone have experience?


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RE: Desert Cotton

I live in Queen Creek, totally surrounded by cotton fields. From what I can see, the the flowers are pretty, but don't last very long, and are hard to see. Then when the cotton matures, the whole bush dies and turns into a brown stick with white balls of fluff on it. Really unattractive. I think a better option would be something that looks similar, but is cultivated as a garden shrub. Little leaf cordia would fit the bill, and it is great in the heat and drought conditions of the PHX area. The flowers are pretty white pompoms on a nicely foliaged bush that stays evergreen.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cordia parvifolia


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RE: Desert Cotton

  • Posted by hoku1 8/Tucson (My Page) on
    Sun, Feb 24, 08 at 10:34

I have a plant that is called desert cotton that is still in its winter bare state. When it leafs out, it has little leaves and gets some pretty flowers that are white with some pink on them. It does get quite leggy. I am going to cut mine way back this year when it starts to leaf out again. It grows upright about 3/4 feet, and about 2 feet wide.


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RE: Desert Cotton

I have (several) desert cotton growing wild at my foothills home in Tucson. They grow well in full sun on a ridge, and only get rainwater (including a fair amount of runoff from the roof.

It is a nice, low-maintenance, broadleaf plant, but is bare in the winter and fall. The original plant of mine has grown to 5ft. x 6 ft. after 3 years. The others are growing quickly as well. Cotton production is NOT a nuisance, I hardly notice it -- but the seedlings are, they spread readily.


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