Thursday, January 10, 2013

Red Flowers Again

 Cockscomb or Celosia cristata


                                                                   Do you like this flower?

 Celosias are very hardy and easy plants to grow in the tropics. This plant is just one of the 3 seedlings i pulled from a roadside, planted here in a pot and watered only when seen to be too wilted. The original soil moisture allowed it to grow this tall even without rain or watering. I but a bamboo trellis at the main branch because the bloom has got too heavy and will break the stem.

 Look at its habit, every leaf axil produce a flower shoot, which will eventually become combs. The apical comb is already big in the above photo that this branch may also need a supporting trellis.

Sometimes, a branch even produce a twin comb like the above. And at this stage they are still growing, and eventually will break the stem. The other two plants i mentioned already broke their neck and the blooms wilted. Look at those necks full of the tiny black seeds. They are ready to disperse and grow when the rains come, and with such numbers, i consider them already as weeds. 

This bloom is from another side branch. It has a small neck with too fast growing comb. And there are also several small growths still growing into combs. Can you imagine what will happen to this branch!

 This is the close up of the main branch in the first photo. The convolutions look like a brain or a marine coral rather than a comb. I wonder why the predecessors who named this didn't call it a brain-flower, or a garden coral. The undulations are so thickly packed too. Sometimes i see very small insects or spiders safely hiding inside those convolutions.

This is a close-up of another flower which broke its neck and produced more spacious convolutions. Broken neck or not, it is still a very chaotic, maze-like arrangement. I wonder how those small insects were able to get out of this world. Despite its propensity to invade and colonize, it is still very beautiful. Do you agree?

On another note, this plant is an amaranth and the leaves and flowers are eaten in some parts of Africa, India and South America. I think i need to learn eating this as vegies so I can have use for all those seeds that will eventually sprout in our garden.

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33 comments:

  1. I love your close-ups of this cockscomb and the magenta hue is one of my favourite colour. I would like to cultivate the dwarf variety as it is not as straggly looking. But why grouse about its lankiness when it is so efficient in self-seeding :)

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    1. Oh, when all those seeds scatter and grow after the first rains, all your yard will be growing the seedlings! hahaha, talk of colonizers, this is one of the best.

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  2. I have heard of this and that people eat it and would be interested in what you think. Gorgeous flower!

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    1. hahaha, i am sorry Donna, i haven't tasted it. Some people here eat the tops of its cousin, the amaranth, but i also don't like it. I am not very adventurous with foods, even our traditional common foods here, i sometimes don't eat.

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  3. Bardzo podoba mi się ich kształt i kolor. Pozdrawiam.
    I love their shape and color. Yours.

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  4. Nice pictures. I can't really warm up to Celosias, though, because brain flower would be a very apt name for them.

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  5. The colour is fabulous and the shape is very interesting.

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  6. Such vivid color! Your photos show a lot of detail.

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  7. Oh my that looks fabulous. This was a very popular cottage garden plant in the Caribbean when I was a child.

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    1. Yes Nicole, i wold believe so because we definitely share the same climatic conditions!

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  8. Hi! Very beautiful flower photos! I feel something vitality from this kind of flowers.
    Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

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  9. I can well imagine how the celosias perform for you... I've always found them to be quite amazing! Such lovely warm color! Larry

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  10. This is a beautiful variety. I like how it droops. The variety I've grown here never do very well. I think we're too dry.

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    1. Hi Gabby, only this species droops because of the heavy comb! The Celosia argentea or C plumosa are just like feathers! Hmmm comb and feathers!

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  11. thanx for your lovely weekend flowers! they looks like velvet :)

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  12. The celosia is lovely. They will grow in our climate too although I have never grown one.

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  13. Such a lovely and intense colour. Very interesting photos.

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  14. All the flame colors and velvety shapes of Celosia are beautiful. I've not had success with them because they are so sensitive to rootknot nematodes in the soil here.

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    1. Oh i didn't know they are sensitive to nematodes, thanks for telling me that NellJean. So i can assume we don't have nematodes, as i am used to see them always growing from seeds voluntarily and beautifully.

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  15. Lovely flowers! I don't know it.

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    1. Hello vincibene, thanks for your visit. Blogging let us know more plants from all parts of the world. I learned much from here too!

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  16. Beautiful Celosia pictures, thank you!
    I grow mine from seeds too and love the look of plants.
    Celosia is an annual flower in Canada whose silky blooms get attention wherever they grow with a wide choice of appearance, size, and colour.


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  17. Andrea, I didn't realize that these are tropical flowers -- but it makes sense, with all those vibrant hot colors. Flower growers here in the northeastern US grow both Celosia and other varieties of Amaranth for use as cut flowers, and they usually start appearing in flower arrangements in late summer and early autumn. As always, your photos are great. -Jean

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    1. Hello Jean, i am so happy to see you here again. It is not surprising that Celosias can be used as cutflowers in temperate climes, as they wilt much slower. But here some people in the provinces like my mother, use it too in arrangements for All Saint's Day to be brought to the cemetery for my father and grandparents. They go well with orange Heliconia, traditional roses and our green foliage. But because of the very hot environment in the cemetery, they wilt so fast. Thank you.

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  18. Gorgeous! Hope you'll find time to visit my Hibiscus.

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  19. My mom used to grow various kinds of these in her garden in New York City. I thought they looked like brains and didn't like them much as a child. Now they look like a great garden addition for flower form contrast. Good luck with yours.

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  20. Beautiful flower. It resembles brain coral :)

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  21. It grows well here. Like their unique shapes.

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  22. Well hello there!!! First I want to thank you so much for linking in today...I have been absent from my own party a lot lately, and I feel terrible! My internet is acting like a diva this last while and it is hard for me to even load my own page much less a link or two! So..forgive me...I am trying!
    This is a great post!!! I LOVE celiosias!!!very pretty shares this week my friend...I hope you will link in again soon...if my internet will allow me to...I am going to try to share this post with the tootsie time facebook page!
    hugs!!!
    (¯`v´¯)
    `*.¸.*´Glenda/Tootsie
    ¸.•´¸.•*¨) ¸.•*¨)
    (¸.•´ (¸.•´ .•´ ¸¸.•¨¯`•.

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  23. these flowers are definitely unique, looks like it could make a nice coat.

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  24. Great post about this interesting bloom, and the photos are lovely. Thanks for sharing and have a great week :)

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  25. Wow! Thats very unusual and a great colour.

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  26. Love this celosia cockscomb, although I have never been really successful in growing them. They seem to just slowly fade away after it blooms, maybe eaten by slugs or some flying insects, never figured that out. Anyway, am trying to grow them again from seeds, 'coz I simply love the flowers, esp. for my dry arrangements.

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