Low maintenance, fragrant, and absolutely vibrant, cockscomb are a flower oft-overlooked and taken for granted. Cockscomb, also known as Wool Flowers, or even Brain Celosia (because that sounds appealing), are beautiful blooming annuals that grow to be 12-30 inches in height.
Wes and I first came across these beauties at Stratford’s Garlic Festival this past September, and, you guessed it; we’re growing cockscomb next year!
While Stratford’s Garlic Festival is most widely known for its garlic (obviously), one of the booths we passed by was selling cockscomb stems for $1.00 each. Needless to say, after hearing a bit about the blooms and how you can save the seeds and plant the following seeding season, we purchased two with the intent of including them in our Spring 2017 garden.
Since mid-September, we’ve had our cockscomb blooms hanging upside down in a dry place, with a bowl beneath. After drying, the seeds fall from the cockscomb bloom, and can be planted the following season.
As you can see from the photo above, after a month and a half of drying, the cockscomb drops its seeds (the seeds come from the part of the plant beneath the coloured bloom but before the stem).
Cockscomb flowers usually come in four colour varieties: Yellow, pink, orange, and white. Interestingly, the name cockscomb comes from the similarity to a cock’s comb on a rooster’s head.
Aspiring gardener tip: When you’re drying your cockscomb, make sure you place a bowl beneath the plant in which to let the seeds fall. As you can see from the photo above, after about a month and a half, there are plenty of seeds collected or our garden next Spring. (Note: The seeds are the round black pieces, the lighter pieces are the seed casing or shells.)
I am very excited to see what happens next Spring when we plant the seeds rom our first-ever cockscomb plants. Cockscomb flowers are beautiful annuals, and it will be interesting to see how our latest gardening experiment turns out!
If you’re planning to plant your own cockscomb seeds next Spring, here are some tips:
- Plant your cockscomb flower seedlings into moist soil in late spring.
- You may opt to start your seedlings indoors about 6 to 8 weeks before your region’s last frost.
- Outdoors, plant your seedlings about 8 inches apart.
- Cockscomb seedlings grow best in full sun.