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Cotton Essay

1181 words - 5 pages

Cotton was and still is a vital crop plant, it chiefly provided the South with a monetary advantage over several parts of the United States, and as for me… it made my family. My grandmother would have never left the small town of Moultrie, Georgia in search of a new life in South Florida, she was tired of picking cotton and knew there were better prospects. Even though cotton is an essential part of our daily wear, there were painful recollections surrounding the harvesting of cotton from my descendants. My mother, my grandmother and my great- grandmother all handpicked cotton, and as a child listening to their stories, I had a negative connotation of the crop, nevertheless there is more to cotton than what I comprehend. Cotton is not just a universal crop, but it has a universal name, according to the source, Natural History and Commercial History of Cotton by the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce the chief title of cotton is gossypium. The source explains that this genus belongs to the monadelphous class of Linnaeus, and to the usual order of Malvaceous plants. Cotton has very distinct characteristics, “It is characterized by the three long deeply cut segments into which its outer calyx is divided ; by its large, handsome blossoms of five petals, of a yellow, orange, or reddish colour, with or without a central spot of a deeper tint…”(Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce 139). Cotton has copious stamens which are amalgamated in several different ways, some include the base of the stamen, or by single style which include three- five stigmas, or by its seeds which have several contained in each one. The source further delves into the characteristics of the genus, numerous seeds are undeveloped and they remain exposed by the membranous casing, “but, after a time, this latter splits from the top downwards; and through this opening the seeds, enveloped in their down, push out, forming light balls of the purest white, or of pale yellow, or of reddish brown of various shades,” (The Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce 139). As a result, the seeds are propelled away by the wind, therefore dispersed. The source reveals that the plant cotton has bulky foliage, which are fixed and allocated into three to five sections, they are usually deeply cut similar to vine leaves. Cotton is occasionally herbaceous, and has a bushy, comparable physique to a small tree. Allegedly, cotton was utilized 7,000 years ago, the source Natural History and Commercial History of Cotton discloses that cotton became prevalent in the Indus Valley Civilization and autonomously cultivated in the Old and New worlds. One can assume that cotton may have passed from India into Persia, and later spread to Syria, Asia Minor, and then to the Mediterranean islands such as Cyprus, Malta, and Sicily etc. “It does not appear that any of the Levant countries had the art of...

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