The onset of civilization in India and Cotton go hand in hand . The history of cotton goes back to the Indus Valley Civilization about 5000 years ago.
The pictures below taken in a cotton field near the Jodhpur -Phalodi (North West Rajasthan ,India) highway are an attempt to reveal the Origin of Cotton .
Tree Cotton ( English), Kapas (Hindi ), Gossypium arboreum ( Scientidic name ) belongs to the Hibiscus family Malvacaeae.
When you look at the beautiful pink “rose like” buds you can hardly imagine this is THE ORIGIN of all your cotton clothes.
The pink bud transforms into a gorgeous primrose like yellow flower which is held up by a purple coloured stalk. ( unique to this species of the Genus Gossypium)
I did however see Purple flowers as well, however they were not blooming and thus not included in my story. ( maybe an expert could clarify are there two colours of flowers or do the yellow flowers turn purple)
The Tree cotton is actually a shrub native to the Indian Subcontinent and extremely resistant to pests and drought like conditions.
The fruit bears seeds which in turn bear the cotton fibres which you see in the picture below.
The Cotton fibres are the basis of all your cotton clothing.
The fruit or Cotton Boll ripens under the Sun changing from green to brown and then bursts open releasing the cotton fibre.
The picture below shows the ripened Cotton bolls with and without the cotton fibres.
Cotton today has many hybrids across the world and the plant and flower may vary depending on the species.
This was however the story of the ancient TREE COTTON which is even today cultivated to provide the shirts on our backs.