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Plumed Celosia Celosia argentea var. plumosa

Phonetic Spelling
seh-LO-see-ah ar-jen-TEE-ah ploom-OH-sah
Description

Plumed Celosia is an annual herb, a compact variety of Celosia in the Plumosa group that features narrow-pyramidal, plume-like flower heads (4 to 10 inches long) composed of tiny, densely-packed, vividly-colored flowers and erect stems with spear-shaped green leaves. This is a good cut flower that blooms through summer into fall and may last until the first frost. Since inflorescence color does not come from the corolla, the inflorescence can be cut, hung to dry, and it retains an attractive color when utilized as dried flowers or in floral arrangements. The genus name comes from the Greek word keleos meaning burning referring to the colorful flowers. The species argentea means "silvery", for the shiny, white bracts and tepals of the species. The group name Plumosa means "feathery" for the shape of the inflorescence.

Plumed Celosia is easily grown in humus rich, moderately fertile, consistently moist, well-drained soils in full sun, although it does tolerate light shade and dry soils. The plant thrives in hot and humid conditions. The seed may be sown directly in the garden after the last spring frost date and, for earlier bloom, start seeds indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost date. Deadhead spent flowers to prolong bloom. Plant it in border fronts, edging, or cut flower gardens. Celosia species do reseed, they should be sited in a location where their reappearance every year is not unwanted. To prevent reseeding, you can cut off the blooms before seeds appear.

Diseases, Insect Pests, and Other Plant Problems:  No serious insect issues.  Infrequent issues with aphids, whitefly and red spider mite.  These issues are more frequent when the plant is grown under glass.  

Susceptible to root rot, particularly in poorly-drained soils. Fungal leaf spot diseases may also occur. This plant is frequently damaged by deer.

VIDEO created by Andy Pulte for “Landscape Plant Identification, Taxonomy and Morphology” a plant identification course offered by the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Tennessee.

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Apricot Brandy'
    Pale orange flowers
  • 'Forest Fire'
    Scarlet flowers with maroon leaves
  • 'Fresh Look'
    Large, red, feathery plumes.
  • 'New Look'
    Red flowers, purple-bronze foliage
'Apricot Brandy', 'Forest Fire', 'Fresh Look', 'New Look'
Tags:
#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#frost tender#colorful#long-lasting flowers#deer browsing plant#long bloom time#border planting#cutting garden#humidity tolerant#dry soils tolerant#butterfly friendly#wilson mg plant sale 2021#butterflies#annual#butterfly#full sun#butterfly garden
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Apricot Brandy'
    Pale orange flowers
  • 'Forest Fire'
    Scarlet flowers with maroon leaves
  • 'Fresh Look'
    Large, red, feathery plumes.
  • 'New Look'
    Red flowers, purple-bronze foliage
'Apricot Brandy', 'Forest Fire', 'Fresh Look', 'New Look'
Tags:
#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#frost tender#colorful#long-lasting flowers#deer browsing plant#long bloom time#border planting#cutting garden#humidity tolerant#dry soils tolerant#butterfly friendly#wilson mg plant sale 2021#butterflies#annual#butterfly#full sun#butterfly garden
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Celosia
    Species:
    argentea
    Family:
    Amaranthaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    It is used as animal food, a poison and a medicine, has environmental uses and social uses and for food.
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    India and Nepal
    Distribution:
    Throughout Africa, Central and South America, Southern and Central United States, Asia
    Wildlife Value:
    Attracts butterflies
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Colorful
    Easy to Grow
    Edibility:
    The leaves and young shoots are cooked and used in soups and stews. The seeds yield edible oil.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 6 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 5 in. - 1 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    9b, 9a, 10b, 10a, 11b, 11a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Head
    Spike
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Good Dried
    Long Bloom Season
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Irregular
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Terminal, spicate cymes, heavily bracteated, fasciated, cristate, of carentoid pigments of bold red to yellow. Blooms from late spring to first frost.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Feel:
    Smooth
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Lanceolate
    Linear
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The deeply veined leaves a simple, alternate, linear-lanceolate to lanceolate-ovate leaves, light green but darker on flowering shoots and erect stems. Older leaves have a broader base than young leaves.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Description:
    Multi-branched fleshy stems. Red flowered varieties may have red stems.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Hanging Baskets
    Houseplants
    Small Space
    Walkways
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Cutting Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Edible Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Heat
    Humidity
    Poor Soil