Celosia

The Celosia Is An Edible Flower

Celosia is a tropical herbaceous plant grown as an annual in most of North America. A member of the Amaranth family, it contains about 60 species native to parts of Asia and Africa. Celosia comes from the Greek word meaning “burning”, a reference to the flame-like flowers of some species that resemble a burning fire. Commonly called “cockscomb”, these species have plumed, huge spiked blossoms, usually crimson or yellow, that look like a rooster’s comb. The other common type, called “woolflower” is crested with a twisted formation and a more feathery, globular shape.

Growing Recommendations - Celosia

Celosia is available in a variety of colors and sizes, with blooms growing from 10” (dwarf) to 30” (giant). Although it prefers rich, well- drained soil, celosia is drought tolerant. It requires full sun and does best in an ideal day temperature of 70 degrees. It is the perfect flower for flowerbeds, rock gardens and borders. Celosia is easy to start from seed and, once in the ground, it will self-seed and spread throughout the garden. Celosia grows in the summer and continues to bloom into the fall: pinch back early blooms to maximize blossoms. It is susceptible to spider mites and especially aphids, so treat with a fungicide or pesticide at the first sign of trouble. Celosia has a long vase life and makes a beautiful dried flower for bouquets. Celosia has been used medicinally, to relieve burned skin, treat intestinal tapeworm, blood diseases and eye problems and to heal sores. It is also considered a major foodstuff in Indonesia, India, Mexico (where it is known as “velvet flower”) and Nigeria. The nutritious leafy green vegetable is grown in these areas as an annual for salads and stews and, as a grain, as a pseudo-cereal. Because it grows like a weed, and does not require much tending, celosia may aid in the fight against hunger in third world areas.

Photos of Celosia

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