The Cotton industry in the Turks and Caicos Islands was not particularly successful. Plantation owners from the United States tried to introduce it as a crop to the islands but it suffered from disease. There is however a native cotton that grows here.
Wild Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) is a member of the mallow family, it is a large if slightly gangling shrub often found along roadsides. More specifically there are a few plants growing along the track to Conch Bar Caves.
The flowers open yellow and at this stage are looking to be pollinated by insects and the yellow allows ultra violet patterns to show. Once pollinated the flower turns red, hiding those patterns and closes. The seeds, once ripe, are covered with the white cotton.