Monday, 17 December 2012

High in Cotton

Yes, the Lowcountry of South Carolina and many southern states in the US were once 'high in cotton'. This plant has an incredible history all over the world.

A week ago, I had my first one-on-one with a field of cotton.  The private island I work on used to be a cotton plantation.  Now to honor those roots, a field of cotton is cultivated yearly.  It's such a joy to have access to all the wonders on Spring Island.

I had no idea about the wonderful architecture of the plant.  I picked several cotton springs but what really caught my eyes were the pale yellow flower blooming out of a three-sided leaf-like structure that has long thin fingers. I brought my treasures home and put the flowering branches in water.  After a few days, the pale yellow flowers slowly started to turn the same crimson color of what I now know is called a 'square'.  I found a great website that explains the life cycle and gives the names of the various parts of the cotton plant. A 'boll' forms from the flower and it takes 24 days to reach full size.  An additional 24-40 days is needed for the fiber to fill with cellulose and the boll to open.

I'm tickled that the cotton plant came into my life at this time.  It has such a rich history.  A special plant for a special day!

No comments:

Post a Comment