The genus Gossypium is noteworthy for its several species that produce the cottons of world commerce. G.sturtianum is widely distributed in the interior of Australia and is the floral emblem of the Northern Territory. The genus is closely related to the well known Hibiscus. G.sturtianum is a shrub to about 4ft in height with large ovate leaves. A characteristic feature of Gossypium is the presence of small, dark glands in most parts of the plant. These glands contain the substance gossypol which is toxic to non-ruminant animals. The flowers are hibiscus-like, pink to mauve in color with a dark red centre. Flowers are seen for most of the year with a peak in late winter. The species adapts well to cultivation, particularly in hot, dry climates, but can be grown in more humid areas in a well drained, sunny position. In colder climates the plants can be difficult to maintain. Free air circulation around the plant is essential to prevent fungal diseases. The plant is frost sensitive, although the var. nandewarense is able to withstand light frosts. Propagation is relatively easy from both seed and cuttings.