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.
De-linted cotton seed (ie. seed with no lint or linters) is processed into oil , meal and hulls .