Celosia argentea (Plumed Cockscomb, Silver Cock’s Comb, Woolflowers)
Captivating Plumbed Cockscomb with flowers that resemble like those on the rooster’s comb!
We too join in the bandwagon happily since they are rather cheap and come in a variety of colours!
During our recent vacation to Cameron Highlands, we came across some plants with magenta flower heads.
Plant Profile, Culture and Propagation :
- Botanical Name: Celosia argentea, followed by the name of cultivar or variety. (syn.: Celosia plumosa, Celosia crostata, ‘Prince of Wales Feathers’).
- Common Names:
Plumed Cockscomb, Silver Cock’s Comb, Woolflowers, Troublesome Weed (known in India and China).
- Family name: Amaranthaceae.
- Etymology: The genus name Celosia is derived from the Ancient Greek word keleos, meaning burning and refers to the flame-like flower heads.
Native to tropical America and Africa, as well as widely cultivated worldwide as garden ornamentals.
- Plant type: A herbaceous and ornamental flowering plant.
- Features: Celosia argentea is a species of the genus Celosia that comprises of about 45 species of flowering plants and are popularly grown for their colourful flower heads.
Depending on the region it’s planted, it can be treated as a perennial or annual plant. An upright plant that grows to approximately between 15 cm to 1 meter tall. It produces alternate, green and simple or lobed leaves, sometimes with a tinge of red. Dazzling flowers are produced in dense spikes with various shades of bloom colours, including red, orange, yellow, magenta, violet, pink and white. Flowers are hermaphrodites and the flower heads can last up to 8 weeks.
- Culture (Care): Celosia argentea can be easily grown with minimum care.
Light: Grows best in full sunlight.
Moisture: Moderate water needs. Keep soil constantly moist but never water-logged to prevent them from developing root rot. It benefits if provided with sufficient humidity. Use a humidifier if necessary.
Best grown in humus-enriched and loamy soils that can retain water, yet free draining. Nevertheless, it can tolerate any commercial garden soil with good drainage.
Others: Further growth and more flowers can be promoted by removing dead flowers as they fade. Remove withered leaves. Provide adequate warmth and humidity. Mist the plant regularly or stand potted houseplant in a saucer of pebbles filled with water to just below the base of pot. Feed once a month with a balanced fertiliser with a high amount of nitrogen. Generally free from serious pests and diseases but spider mites and aphids can be a problem occasionally.
For subtropical and temperate regions: Hardiness: USDA Zone 10 – 11.
Celosia argentea can be grown as a perennial plant in container gardens. It does not tolerate cold. For non-hardy regions, it is often grown as an annual. It is known to flower from summer to early winter. Feed once monthly with a balanced liquid fertiliser. Propagated by seeds. Collect the seeds and start them indoors and plant them outdoors after the last frost.
- Propagation: By seeds that are extremely small, 43,ooo seeds per ounce.
- Usage: Celosia argentea makes excellent ornamental for container gardening or raised planters.
It provides beauty when located at the patio, deck or courtyard.
Grow this captivating plant to add colour and beauty to your garden beds or borders. The flowers look great in vases and bouquets since the flowers are long-lasting. Also excellent as cut or dried flowers.
As the leaves and flowers are edible, they are commercially grown in West Africa and Southeast Asia as an important food crop.
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