Although Europeans in the Middle Ages were aware that cotton was a thing that arrived from India, they were unaware of exactly how it grew. So developed the story of the “Vegetable Lamb of Tartary”. This miniature lamb-creature, also known as a barometz, grew from a little shrub with a bundle of leaves at its base and a long stem shooting skyward. Hence the source of cotton. Read more at Wired magazine.

lamb

Image: Wired.com