Celosia cristata


Sp. Pl. 1: 205. 1753.

Synonyms: Celosia argentea var. cristata (Linnaeus) Kuntze
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 4. Treatment on page 409. Mentioned on page 405, 407.

Herbs, annual. Stems erect, mostly 0.3–1 m, glabrous. Leaves: petiole 1–3 cm; blade unlobed, variable, mostly lanceolate or ovate, 8–15 × 1–8 cm, base tapering, apex long-acuminate. Inflorescences variously fasciated, dense, crested or plumose. Flowers: tepals pink, red, yellow, purple, or white, faintly 3-veined at base, 5–8 mm, scarious; style elongate, 3–4 mm; stigmas 3. Utricles 3–4 mm. Seeds 6–10, 1.5 mm diam., faintly reticulate, shiny. 2n = 72.

Phenology: Flowering late summer–fall.
Habitat: Trash dumps, waste places
Elevation: 0-1000 m


Introduced; Ala., Conn., D.C., Kans., La., Mo., N.C., Ohio, R.I., Tenn., Vt., West Indies.


In this treatment, Celosia cristata, the cultivated cockscomb, is considered a species separate from C. argentea, its likely wild progenitor; however, it is often treated as an infraspecific entity (variety or form) of the latter. The former is a tetraploid; the latter, an octoploid, although a tetraploid race of C. argentea is known in India (T. N. Khoshoo and M. Pal 1973). Convincing evidence has been presented for recognizing this cytologically and morphologically distinct race as a separate species (W. F. Grant 1961, 1962). Celosia cristata is known only in cultivation or as an escape from cultivation.

Selected References


Lower Taxa