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Cosmos

Cosmos bipinnatus

Mexican aster (Eng.), Kosmos (Afr.)

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Cosmos is a genus of about 25 species of erect to spreading, freely branched annuals and perennials found in scrub and meadows. The annual species C. bipinnatus are commonly grown in gardens on mass for the showy flowers. Cosmos was introduced to South Africa via contaminated horse-feed imported from Argentina during the Anglo-Boer War. It is now widespread over the high eastern plains of South Africa and invasive in certain areas.

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Flowering time
Summer, Autumn
Fruiting time
Autumn

Harvesting

Flowers can be harvested, pick the stems when buds are coloured but not open yet, this will keep insects from pollinating them and stretch the vase life by a few days.

Propagation

Seed
Sow seed in mid-spring in situ.

Special features

Attracts useful insects
Attracts bees.
Autumn colour
Beautiful flowering beds in autumn if they are sown in well prepared beds.

Geography

Origin
America, Mexico, and to South America as far south as Paraguay, United States, as far north as Washington State.
Natural climate
Temperate to Hot

Environment

Light
Full Sun
Soil moisture
Moist
Soil type
Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil PH preference
Neutral
Frost hardiness
Half-Hardy

Uses

Cut flower
The large flower on a long slender stem makes a pretty effect if displayed in bunches or mixed into other floral bouquets.

Personality

Family
Asteraceae
Flower colour
White, pink, orange, yellow and scarlet colors., Red, White, Pink, Burgandy
Scent
None

Problems

Susceptible to aphids, slugs and grey mould.

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