The cotton boll, a protective casing for the seeds of the cotton plant, is soft and fluffy and is the source of the fibre which is spun into thread and woven into cloth worldwide. Cotton plants belong to the genus Gossypium and are part of the mallow family Malvaceae.
Cultivation conditions for this important cash crop require plenty of sunshine (no frost), moderate rainfall (60-120 cm), and fairly heavy soils. These conditions can be found within the seasonally dry tropics and subtropics in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres. These regions can be extended to included irrigated areas with less rainfall.