Cotton Plant 101: What do a cotton plant, blooms & bolls look like? VIDEO

close up of cotton bollLast weekend as I drove through the Missouri Bootheel, I saw cotton fields at various stages of development. In fact, I found one field that had a lot of bolls on it and was still blooming too, so it gave me a chance to show a lot of the different stages of growth for cotton.

I hope some of you enjoy looking at the video, it sort of brings one of my top cotton 101 posts What does a cotton plant look like? into a state of motion.

Key Parts of the Cotton Plant

cotton blooms at various stages via MS StateCotton plants really are beautiful! There are pretty flowers and cotton bolls are absolutely awesome. Lots of people haven’t had the chance to take those plants in first-hand. So this video and post is a way to share that beauty with those of you who may not have plants within reach! So what should you look at on the cotton plant?

  • White flower / white bloom — The first day a bloom opens it is white or a creamy yellow color. In the afternoon, the pollen is released and as it self-pollinates.
  • Pink flower / pink bloom — Once pollinated, the flower begins to turn pink, becoming a bright fuschia in a few days.
  • young boll / green boll Young boll — As the pink bloom dries down, the young boll pushes its way up, forcing the pink bloom to fall off as a tag. The boll continues to grow as the fiber and seed grow.
  • Cracked boll — As cotton fiber matures, cotton bolls open slowly as the bracts dry and separate.
  • Open boll — This is the part of the plant that most people think of when they think of a cotton plant… it’s what we harvest. And it looks like the cotton balls in our bathroom cabinets.

Learn More about Cotton

There are lots of great sources of information on my favorite crop!


About Janice Person

I'm Janice & this blog is about my passions -- photography, travel, agriculture & whatever else comes to mind. Putting all those things together is intriguing to me…. I can spend a lot of time soaking it up! It's almost always a colorful adventure!

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