|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Celosia (Greek, kelos, burned; referring to the burned look of the flowers in some species). Amarantaceae. Cockscomb. Popular garden annuals, grown for the showy agglomerated flower-heads and sometimes for colored foliage.
Alternate-leaved annual herbs, the lvs. entire or sometimes lobed, mostly narrow: fls. in dense terminal and axillary spikes, the spikes in cult, forms becoming densely fascicled and often the sts. much fasciated; perianth very small, 5-parted, dry, the segms. oblong or lanceolate, erect in fr.; stamens 5, the filaments united at base: fr. a circumscissile utricle, with 2 to many seeds.—About 35 species, all tropical, in Asia, Afr. and Amer.
There are two main types of celosias, the crested form and the feathered or plumy ones. The crested cockscomb is very stiff, formal and curious, while the feathered sorts are less so, and are used to some extent in dried bouquets. The plumy sorts are grown abroad for winter decoration, especially under the name of C. pyramidalis, but to a small extent in America. The crested cockscomb is less used as a summer bedding plant than formerly, but it is still commonly exhibited in pots at small fairs, the object being to produce the largest possible crest on the smallest plant.
For garden use, the seeds are sown indoors in early spring, and the plants set out May 1 to 15. If the roots dry out, the leaves are sure to drop off. The cockscomb is a moisture-loving plant, and may be syringed often, especially for the red-spider, which is its greatest enemy. A light, rich soil is needed.
C. spicata equals ?. Not the C. spicata, Spreng.; perhaps some form of C. cristata.—C. Thompsconii magnifica, Hort ., is a trade name and apparently without botanical standing.CH
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Pests and diseases
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- Celosia argentea
- Celosia cristata
- Celosia nitida
- Celosia palmeri
- Celosia plumosa
- Celosia trigyna
- Celosia virgata
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- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963