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Ma'o
Starr 010309-0542 Gossypium tomentosum.jpg
Scientific classification
Genus:
Gossypium
Species:
tomentosum

Gossypium tomentosum, commonly known as Ma'o or Hawaiian cotton, is a species of cotton plant that is endemic to the Hawaiian Islands. It inhabits low shrublands at elevations from sea level to 120 m (390 ft). Ma'o is a shrub that reaches a height of 1.5–5 ft (0.46–1.52 m) and a diameter of 5–10 ft (1.5–3.0 m). The seed hairs (lint) are short and reddish brown, unsuitable for spinning or twisting into thread.

Genetic studies indicate that Hawaiian cotton is related to American species of Gossypium, with its closest relative Gossypium hirsutum. Its ancestor may have come to the islands from the Americas as a seed on the wind or in the droppings of a bird, or as part of floating debris.

Hawn Cotton
Cotton boll of Gossypium tomentosum
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