The curious epicalyx of a Gossypium herbaceum subsp. africanum flower, three broad bracts that form a “backup” calyx just below the proper calyx, have comb-like, deeply incised, angular tips.
They are green as leaves, but contrast strongly in shape against the plant’s real leaves. The epicalyx persists around the fruit capsule, reaching 2 cm in diameter.
The inconspicuous real calyx, cup-shaped and green, is hidden between the epicalyx and the petals, only up to 1 cm in length (Pooley, 1998; Onderstall, 1996; Letty, 1962; iSpot; Mannheimer and Curtis, (Eds), 2009; Leistner, (Ed.), 2000).