In nature, G. hirsutum and G. barbadense are perennial shrubs. However, in the agricultural system both species are cultivated as annuals, with destruction of plants after harvesting the fruit for seed and fibre. The plants are mainly grown for their fibre, cotton lint, which is used in textiles and clothing.
Gossypium hirsutum L . was named due to its hairiness ( hirsute ), although it has also been referred to as Gossypium hirsutum ssp. latifolium, Gossypium hirsutum var. punctatum , Gossypium jamaicense, Gossypium mexicanum, Gossypium morrillii , Gossypium punctatum , Gossypium purpurascens , Gossypium religiosum , Gossypium schottii , Gossypium taitense and Gossypium tridens. It is commonly known as upland cotton, American cotton or Mexican cotton.