Celosia argentea

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Celosia argentea
Unknown flower q1.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Order: Caryophyllales
Family: Amaranthaceae
Genus: Celosia
C. argentea
Binomial name
Celosia argentea
  • Amaranthus cristatus Noronha
  • Amaranthus huttonii H.J.Veitch
  • Amaranthus purpureus Nieuwl.
  • Amaranthus pyramidalis Noronha
  • Celosia aurea T.Moore
  • Celosia castrensis L.
  • Celosia cernua Roxb. nom. illeg.
  • Celosia coccinea L.
  • Celosia comosa Retz.
  • Celosia cristata L.
  • Celosia debilis S.Moore
  • Celosia huttonii Mast.
  • Celosia japonica Houtt.
  • Celosia japonica Mart.
  • Celosia linearis Sweet ex Hook.f. nom. inval.
  • Celosia margaritacea L.
  • Celosia marylandica Retz.
  • Celosia pallida Salisb.
  • Celosia plumosa (Voss) Burv.
  • Celosia purpurea J.St.-Hil.
  • Celosia purpurea A.St.-Hil. ex Steud.
  • Celosia pyramidalis Burm.f.
  • Celosia splendens Schumach. & Thonn.
  • Celosia swinhoei Hemsl.
  • Chamissoa margaritacea (L.) Schouw

Celosia argentea, commonly known as the plumed cockscomb or silver cock's comb,[2] is a herbaceous plant of tropical origin, and is known for its very bright colors. In India and China it is known as a troublesome weed.[3]


Celosia argentea is a tender annual that is often grown in gardens. It blooms in mid-spring to summer. It is propagated by seeds. The seeds are extremely small, up to 43,000 seeds per ounce.[4] The flowers are hermaphrodites.


As these plants are of tropical origin, they grow best in full sunlight and should be placed in a well drained area. The flowerheads can last up to 8 weeks, and further growth can be promoted by removing dead flowers.[4]


Celosia argentea var. cristata 'Flamingo Feathers' is a cultivar that can grow up to 2 feet in height. The colors are predominantly pink to light violet, and the leaves are a darker green than other cultivars. The Century cultivars are usually taller (1–2 feet), and are bright red, yellow, orange, or pink. The Kimono cultivars are generally smaller (4 inches - 1 foot), and have more muted colors, though similar to the Century cultivars. Other colors, such as white, burgundy, orange-red, etc., can be found. Certain varieties will grow to 3–4 feet in height.[4] Celosia plumosa, also known as Prince of Wales feathers,[5] is a synonym for Celosia argentea. Seeds may be sold as mixtures.

The following strains have gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit (confirmed 2017):[6]

  • C. argentea var. cristata (Plumosa Group) ‘Smart Look Red’[7]
  • C. argentea var. cristata (Plumosa Group) ‘Fresh Look Orange’ (Fresh Look Group)[8]
  • C. argentea var. cristata (Plumosa Group) ‘Glow Red’[9]
  • C. argentea var. cristata (Plumosa Group) ‘Century Rose’ (Century Group)[10]
  • C. argentea var. cristata (Spicata Group) ‘Flamingo Feather’[11]

Taxonomic issues[edit]

Horticultural usage may be very confusing. For instance Celosia cristata may be listed as a separate species, or a variety of C. argentea. Other names for C. argentea var. plumosa include Celosia argenta var. pyrimidalis and C. spicata.[citation needed]

Other classifications consider three variants:

  • C. argentea var. argentea
  • C. argentea var. cristata
  • C. argentea var. plumosa Voss


It is used in Africa to help control growth of the parasitic Striga plant. It can also be used in soaps.[12]


The leaves and flowers are edible and are grown for such use in Africa and Southeast Asia.[13] Celosia argentea var. argentea or "Lagos spinach" is one of the main boiled greens in West Africa, where it is known as soko yòkòtò (Yoruba) or farar áláyyafó (Hausa)[14][15]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Plant List: A Working List of All Plant Species".
  2. ^ "Celosia argentea L." USDA. Retrieved 13 December 2013.
  3. ^ Grant, William F. (1954). "A Cytological Study of Celosia argentea, C. argentea var. cristata, and Their Hybrids". Botanical Gazette. The University of Chicago Press. 115 (4): 323–336. doi:10.1086/335831. JSTOR 2473317.
  4. ^ a b c "Cockscomb". Dave's Garden. Retrieved 13 December 2013.
  5. ^ "Prince of Wales Feathers - Celosia plumosa". Archived from the original on 2008-12-10.
  6. ^ "AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 17. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  7. ^ "RHS Plantfinder - Celosia argentea var. cristata (Plumosa Group) 'Smart Look Red'". Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  8. ^ "RHS Plantfinder - Celosia argentea var. cristata (Plumosa Group) 'Fresh Look Orange' (Fresh Look Group)". Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  9. ^ "RHS Plantfinder - Celosia argentea var. cristata (Plumosa Group) 'Glow Red'". Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  10. ^ "RHS Plantfinder - Celosia argentea var. cristata (Plumosa Group) 'Century Rose' (Century Group)". Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  11. ^ "RHS Plantfinder - Celosia argentea var. cristata (Spicata Group) 'Flamingo Feather'". Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  12. ^ "Celosia". AVRDC. Retrieved 13 December 2013.
  13. ^ Grubben, G.J.H. & Denton, O.A. (2004) Plant Resources of Tropical Africa 2. Vegetables. PROTA Foundation, Wageningen; Backhuys, Leiden; CTA, Wageningen.
  14. ^ ECHO Archived May 10, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Hanelt et al., Mansfeld's encyclopedia of agricultural and horticultural crops, 2001 Google Books

External links[edit]

Media related to Celosia argentea at Wikimedia Commons