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Cockscomb Celosia argentea

Other plants called Cockscomb:

Previously known as:

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

Cockscomb is an annual herb that grows to a height of about 3' tall.  This easy to grown plant makes an excellent cut flower.  It prefers full fun,  rich, moist, well-drained soil but tolerates poor, dry soil.  The stems grow fast but tend to have a weak structure.  The inflorescence absorbs water easily and becomes too heavy for weak stems in tall cultivar selections, causing bending or breakage.  Staking the plants helps.  Regular watering of the root zone is a must as a lack of water will make the leaves appear wilted.  A trend in the green industry to address both of these problems in last few decades has been to select shorter members & move to dwarf selections. 

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

This plant tolerates dry porous soils.  Plant it in border fronts, edging, or cut flower gardens.

Quick ID Hints:

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

 

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; resembling one or more raised fingers. 

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  No serious pest nor disease problems. Rain and high humidity will cause flowers to rot. This plant is frequently damaged by deer.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Jewel Box Mix'
'Jewel Box Mix'
Tags:
#purple#red#sun#yellow#annual#orange#pink flowers#cut flowers#flower arrangements#dried flowers#summer flowers#deer browsing plant#annual flowers#borders#fantz#dried arrangements#border front#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Jewel Box Mix'
'Jewel Box Mix'
Tags:
#purple#red#sun#yellow#annual#orange#pink flowers#cut flowers#flower arrangements#dried flowers#summer flowers#deer browsing plant#annual flowers#borders#fantz#dried arrangements#border front#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats
  • 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
    Woody Plant 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:
    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 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
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Small groups
    Specimen
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Dry Soil