It is ash grey or pale brown in colour, sometimes with pale yellow spots. The seeds are finely pubescent with a reddish brown radicular tip.
The seeds vary in size. According to Dempsey, the number of seeds per kilogram in most cultivated varieties varies from 36,000 to 40,000 seeds. However, some African varieties or populations have a smaller seed and the content per kilogram may reach over 100,000 seeds. According to Boulanjer, the average number of seeds per kilogram is approximately 60,000.
The seed contains an edible oil whose chemical characteristics are similar to those of cotton, but with a lower content of linoleic acid and no gossipol, a toxic phenolic pigment. The oil content in seeds varies on average in Italy between 16% and 22%.