Department of Horticulture New York State Horticulture Study Guide for Youth 4-H Logo


Flowers &
Indoor Plants

Fruits & Nuts



Special Topics



Cornell University

Celosia cristata
(cell-o-see-ah kris-tay-ta)

Click on thumbnails for larger image.

What about it?

Cockscomb is an erect annual, 6-24 inches tall, with branches terminating in large spikes of yellow, white, purple, or shades of red. There are two primary groups of cockscomb: Cristata Group, the crested cockscombs, and the Plumosa Group, the plumed cockscomb.

What is it used for?

Cockscomb are particularly popular for their use as a dried flower. However, they are often found as handsome bedding and border plants. They have a rather long blooming period from mid-July until the first frosts.

Where does it grow? How do we grow it?

Although the cockscombs are tolerant of dry soils, they prefer moist, fertile, well-drained soils, and plenty of sunshine. They should be spaced 6-12 inches apart.

What are its primary problems?

Cockscomb is subject to wilt and rot in poorly drained soils. The tall varieties will need staking.

How do we propagate it?

Sow indoors 4 weeks before the last frost or outdoors as soon as the soil can be spaded and raked. Do not pinch the young plants because it will prevent them from flowering.

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Copyright, Department of Horticulture, Cornell University.