Posted by on Mon, Nov 26 2012 23:32:00

Celosia is a small genus of edible and ornamental plants in the amaranth family, Amaranthaceae. The generic name is derived from the Greek word (kelos), meaning "burned," and refers to the flame-like flower heads. Species are commonly known as woolflowers, or, if the flower heads are crested by fasciation, cockscombs. The plants are well known in East Africa’s highlands and are used under their Swahili name, mfungu.

Celosia is an annual flower whose silky blooms get attention wherever they grow with a wide choice of appearance, size, and color. Celosia offers large flower clusters on top of green or reddish leaves. Colours include yellow, gold, red, pink, orange, and wine. Velvety crested types (cockscomb) are rippled, whereas others are shaped like plumes or spikes. Heights range from 6 to 36 inches; flower size­ is not determined by height.­

At Flora International, we commonly use the cockscomb variety in our bouquets. It's interesting shape and multitude of colours is so versatile and fun to use. The waviness of the cockscomb’s flowers is pretty unique.

Use dwarf types in containers and as edgings. Mass tall types in borders or grow them in garden rows for use as cut or dried flowers. To dry, pick before flowers open fully and hang upside down in a cool, dark place. If you were in the West Island this summer, you most likely saw a lot of woolflower Celosia being used by the city to decorate road median flower boxes, public building gardens, even City Halls. Woolflowers were everywhere to be seen in Pointe Claire, Dollard, Roxboro, and Pierrefonds. I hope you enjoyed them as much as I did this summer.

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