Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective case, around the seeds of the cotton plants of the genus Gossypium in the mallow family Malvaceae. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. ... The fiber is most often spun into yarn or thread and used to make a soft, breathable textile.
- Gossypium hirsutum – upland cotton, native to Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean.
- Gossypium barbadense – known as extra-long staple cotton, native to tropical South America.
- Gossypium arboreum – tree cotton, native to India and Pakistan.