The cotton fibers used in textile commerce are the dried cell walls of formerly living cells.

Botanically, cotton fibers are trichomes or seed coat hairs that differentiate from epidermal

cells of the developing cottonseed. The cotton flower blooms only for one day and quickly

becomes senescent thereafter. On the day of full bloom, or anthesis, the flower petals are pure

white in most G. hirsutum varieties. By the day after anthesis, the petals turn bright pink in

color and, usually by the second day after anthesis, the petals fall off the developing carpel

(boll). The day of anthesis serves as a reference point for all subsequent events in the seed and

fiber development.