Malvaceae Juss.
Gossypium L.

Gossypium somalense (Gürke) J.B.Hutch., Silow & S.G.Stephens

This species is accepted, and its native range is Niger to Ethiopia and Kenya.


M. Thulin et al. Flora of Somalia, Vol. 1-4 [updated 2008]

Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx 4–5 mm long, with low broadly triangular teeth
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Petals 2–3.5 cm long, yellowish with dark red base
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Capsule 3–4-valved, c. 10 mm long, acute or apiculate, glabrous or sparsely strigose, glandular
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds c. 5 mm long, with brownish hairs.
N1; C2; S1–3; Ethiopia, NE Uganda, NE Kenya, SE Sudan, Chad, Niger
Altitude range 40–540 m.
Nagaar-cad (Somali)
N1, “Fullah”, Ellenbeck 220 (B holo., destr.)
Morphology General Habit
Shrub up to 2 m tall; stems pubescent with stellate hairs
Morphology Leaves
Leaves gland-dotted; petiole 10–30(–45) mm long; blade 2–6 x 2–6 cm, entire to 3-lobed; lobes triangular, not constricted at the base, acute to rounded
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Flowers solitary in leaf axils or in 2–3-flowered cymes; pedicels 5–20 mm long
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Epicalyx
Epicalyx bracts broadly ovate-cordate, 1.7–4 x 1.4–3.7 cm, deeply to shallowly dentate, gland-dotted, with all major veins reaching the margin


Malvaceae, Bernard Verdcourt & Geoffrey Mwachala. Pavonia, B Verdcourt; Kosteletzkya, OJ Blanchard Jr.; Gossypium, P Fryxell & B Verdcourt. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 2009

Fig 17, p 95
Acacia miseraCommpihora thicket, AcaciaCommiphoraDelonix bushland, dried-up riverbeds on limestone; (300–)400–700 m
At least one field note points out that the corolla starts yellow but turns purple, which explains the wide variety of colours cited in other field notes.
Type: Somalia, Fulla Valley, Ellenbeck 220 (B†, holo.)
Morphology General Habit
Shrubs 0.7–2 m tall.
Morphology Stem
Stems stellate-tomentose
Morphology Leaves
Leaves petiolate, ± rotund, 2.5–6 × 2.5–6.5 cm, cordate, shallowly 3-lobed, entire or pedately 5–7-lobed; lobes acute to obtuse (sometimes mucronate), stellate-tomentose above and beneath, clearly punctate beneath, with an obscure foliar nectary at or near the base of the midrib beneath (5 mm distant from petiole or less); stipules 6–11 mm long, subulate, caducous
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers on short (1–2-flowered) sympodial inflorescences; pedicel 6–12 mm long, bracteate at articulation, surmounted by 3 epicalyx nectaries; bracts of the epicalyx inserted above the nectaries, broadly ovate and deeply cordate, narrowed to a short claw, 2–3 × 3–3.5 cm, coarsely 5–13-dentate, tomentose, obscurely punctate; calyx yellow-green, 5–7 mm long, undulately 5-lobed, minutely pubescent, with scattered black glands; lobes obtuse
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla yellow or apricot to pink or dull red with prominent dark red centre or reddish green at base, funnelform, ± 2 cm long (subequal to or slightly exceeding epicalyx), epunctate or nearly so, pubescent externally especially where exposed in bud, glabrous internally.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Staminal column pallid, glabrous, epunctate; anthers subsessile or the filaments to 1 mm long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Style
Style exceeding the androecium, punctate
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Capsules ovoid, beaked, 0.8–1 cm long, 3–4locular, ± appressed-hirsute (at least distally), prominently punctate, included in persisting epicalyx.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds solitary, ± 7 mm long, densely pubescent, fibres brownish, appressed
Range: Niger, Chad, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia Flora districts: U1 K1 K2 K4 K7

Native to:

Chad, Ethiopia, Kenya, Niger, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda

Gossypium somalense (Gürke) J.B.Hutch., Silow & S.G.Stephens appears in other Kew resources:

First published in Evol. Gossypium: 31 (1947)

Accepted by

  • Darbyshire, I., Kordofani, M., Farag, I., Candiga, R. & Pickering, H. (eds.) (2015). The Plants of Sudan and South Sudan: 1-400. Kew publishing, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Edwards, S., Tadesse, M. & Hedberg, I. (eds.) (1995). Flora of Ethiopia and Eritrea 2(2): 1-456. The National Herbarium, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia & The Department of Systematic Botany, Upps.
  • Govaerts, R. (2003). World Checklist of Seed Plants Database in ACCESS G: 1-40325.
  • Peyre de Fabregues, B. & Lebrun, J.-P. (1976). Catalogue des Plantes Vascularies du Niger: 1-433. Institut d' Elevage et de Médecine Vétérinaire des Pays Tropicaux, Maisons Alfort.
  • Thulin, M. (ed.) in Thulin, M. (ed.) (1999). Flora of Somalia 2: 1-303. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Verdcourt, B. & Mwachala, G.M. (2009). Flora of Tropical East Africa, Malvaceae: 1-170.


Flora of Somalia

  • Flora Somalia, Vol 2, (1999) Author: by M. Thulin [updated by M. Thulin 2008]
  • Pickering, H. & Awale, A. I. (2018). Introduction to plants in Central Somaliland. Ponte Invisibile, Redsea Cultural Foundation.

Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • Evol. Gossyp.: 31 (1947)
  • Fl. Eth. & Erit.2 (2): 220, fig. 82.13.1–5 (1995)
  • Fryxell, Nat. Hist. Cotton tribe: 65 (1979)
  • K.B. 42: 347 (1987)
  • Thulin, Fl. Somalia 2: 60, fig. 34 A–F (1999).

  • Flora of Somalia

    Flora of Somalia

  • Flora of Tropical East Africa

    Flora of Tropical East Africa

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  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

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