Welcome to another week of pretty petals where we like to write about flowers that inspire us. Well, you’re in for a doozie this week! We’ve chosen celosia. This is by far the flower we get asked what the heck is that?? the most. Celosia is undoubtedly, one of the most peculiar flowers we use in the flower trade. It comes in many shapes and sizes, and is available mid summer til frost.
Celosia are native to the East African Highlands and come in both edible and ornamental varieties. They come from the amaranth family (check last week’s post for that flower!) and is derived from the Greek word kelos, meaning burned – referring to the flame-like flower heads. Also know as woolflower, this flame-like variety is the most common garden type celosia here in Ontario.
The funniest looking of all the celosias is what we refer to in the industry as the brain flower. You are probably thinking that that is an odd name for a flower! It’s actually a perfectly suited name for this type of celosia beacuse it looks just like a brain. It’s beautiful in an unconventional (albeit creepy) sort of way. Celosia cockscomb is another oddity. Because of its resemblance to a roosters comb, this kind of celosia has earned an interesting common name as well.
Aside from the fact that celosia comes in unique shapes and sizes, the fuzzy texture of the flower is a definite drawing point. And combined with the multitude of available colours, the celosia offers a colour palette second to none. As floral designers, we gravitate towards flowers that are the “whole package” and celosia unarguably has it all! If you have never had the pleasure of seeing or feeling a celosia, I would recommend dropping in to your local florist to have a look. But don’t hestitate – the season is quickly drawing to a close – one hard frost and they will be gone for good.