Sunday, September 20, 2009

Celosia argentea var. plumosa

[Photo: Celosia argentea var. plumosa and Heliotropium arborescens planting at the main entrance to High Park.]Celosia argentea, known in English as "plumed cockscomb", "feathered cockscomb", "silver cockscomb", or by the genus name, and in French as célosie crête de coq, is an annual native to the tropics, perhaps Africa or India. The leaves and flowers are grown as a food crop in Africa. The flowers of the plumosa group are reminiscent of those of amaranth, and in fact celosia is a member of the Amaranthaceae.

I've never grown celosia myself, but I have a sentimental attachment to the cristata types, because they remind me of my first husband. (Geoffrey liked them because the flowers look like brains). I thought this combination of red celosia with deliciously fragrant deep purple Heliotropium arborscens (heliotrope, héliotrope), which I photographed at the main entrance of High Park opposite High Park subway station, was really striking.

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