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Celosia argentea is often confused with:
Kniphofia x praecox
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Antirrhinum majus Antirrhinum majus
Zinnia elegans Zinnia elegans
Alstroemeria Alstroemeria

Cockscomb Celosia Celosia argentea

Other Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Celosia argentea var. cristata
Phonetic Spelling
seh-LO-see-ah ar-jen-TEE-ah
Description

Celosia argentea [C. cristata, C. splendens, C. argentea var. cristata]

Annual herb 3' tall. Good cut flower; prefers rich, moist, well-drained soil but tolerates poor, dry soil; easy to grow; rain and high humidity will cause flowers to rot. This plant is frequently damaged by deer.

 

Quick ID Hints:

  • Terminal inflorescence with cockscomb sometimes present
  • Terminal plumose or finger-like spike inflorescence
  • Inflorescence globose, resembling brain coral

Stem growth fast, but weak structured; inflorescence absorbs water & becomes too heavy for weak stem in tall cultivar selections, causing bending or beakage, thus, requiring staking of stem; lack of water and leaves appear wilted, thus a water guzzler to keep stalk & leaves looking well; trend to address both problems in last few decades has been to select shorter members & move to dwarf selections. 

Since inflorescence color not from the corolla, inflorescences can be cut, hung to dry, and retain attractive color when utilized as dried flowers or in floral arrangements. 

Prefers full sun; tolerates drought and dry porous soils; utilized in bedding, borders, edging, cut flowers, dried flowers, floral arrangements; no serious pest nor disease problems.

Cultivar groups inflorescence:

Childsii Group - terminal inflorescence of globose, bosses consisting of numerous, congested cockscombs; bosses resembles brain coral. 

Cristata Group - terminal inflorescence of several erect, flattened, broad, cristate cockscombs. 

Nana Group - name not retained as there are several cultivar selections of dwarf forms in other groups. 

Plumosa Group - terminal infloirescence of erect, tapering upward, plumose or feathery inflorescences; central axis bearing elongate lateral branches spreading ascending, branches getting shorter upward. 

Spicata Group - metallic pink or yellow in slender heads; central axis bearing very short lateral branches; resembing one or more raised fingers. 

 

Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Cristata'
  • 'Jewel Box Mix'
Tags:
#purple#red#pink#sun#yellow#annual#summer#orange#cut flowers#flower arrangements#dried flowers#bedding plant#edging#deer damage#annual flowers#borders#fantz
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Cristata'
  • 'Jewel Box Mix'
Tags:
#purple#red#pink#sun#yellow#annual#summer#orange#cut flowers#flower arrangements#dried flowers#bedding plant#edging#deer damage#annual flowers#borders#fantz
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Celosia
    Species:
    argentea
    Family:
    Amaranthaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Tropical Africa
    Wildlife Value:
    Attract Butterflys
    Edibility:
    Leaves, Young Shoots and Oil from Seeds
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 9 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 9 in. - 1 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Annual
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b, 11a, 11b
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Head
    Spike
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Good Dried
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Irregular
    Flower Size:
    > 6 inches
    Flower Description:
    Terminal, spicate cymes, heavily bracteated, fasciated, cristate, of carentoid pigments of bold red to yellow.
  • Leaves:
    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 Description:
    Simple, alternate, linear-lanceolate to lanceolate-ovate.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Straight
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Hanging Baskets
    Patio
    Walkways
    Landscape Theme:
    Asian Garden
    Cutting Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Small groups
    Specimen
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Dry Soil