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Saturday, August 13, 2011

FOUND AT MY FARMERS MARKET

Red Crested Cockscomb on my kitchen table


Yesterday, I was strolling through my farmer's market when I spotted a large water pail filled with tall red crested cockscombs (Celosia cristata). These flowers resemble a large woolly brain -- a "beautiful mind" type -- a look that stops one in their tracks. Of course, I had to buy some. At only $1.50, how could I not. 


In times past I have grown these red two foot beauties. They're easy to grow from seed. 


I enjoy them in fresh bouquets and also dry them to either break apart and place in wreaths or just to dangle from a hook in my kitchen or lay in one of my old baskets.


Victorians symbolized them as humorous, warm and silly. I would say that I am rather silly at times so we have something in common.


Red Crested Cockscomb -- up close


29 comments:

  1. They are utterly amazing, what vibrant colour.

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  2. Isn't that odd? I nver thought of cockscombs as silly, only different. The certainly perk up a bouquet or do well on their own. I love to get the odd flowers or a wild bunch from the farmer's market. Coals to Newcastle, David says, but I don't have any wildflowers in my small yard, and I think they are charming.

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  3. I've never seen the Red Crested Cockscomb before. They are beautiful!

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  4. They're so pretty -- and so interesting!

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  5. Really unique and beautiful flower. They remind me of underwater corals or similar. What a vibrant and gorgeous color.

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  6. I have always loved these. As a little girl i wanted to wear them as a collar.

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  7. Kay -- thanks Kay -- hope your farmer's market carries them or maybe you even grow them. -- barbara

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  8. Carol Anne Carr I first discovered these vibrant flowers when I lived in Michigan years ago. There was a large Amish settlement about an hour away from where I lived and in the summer they grew huge flower gardens. One day I slowed down to really take a peek and saw these grand dames standing tall and was hooked from that day forward. Thanks -- barbara

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  9. Dianne -- I know that the flowers look brainy but I guess brainy flowers can act silly -- at least that is the way Victorians felt. I think the Victorians were thinking this way: warm -- wooly, humorous -- funny looking, and silly -- again looking silly compared to a lovely bloom. All in the eyes of the beholder I guess. -- barbara

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  10. Linda -- Maybe you can see them at your farmer's market. They are spectacular when seen with the naked eye. Thanks -- barbara

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  11. Elise -- The Victorians called them "warm" I guess that is because they are wooly to the touch. Thanks for stopping by -- barbara

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  12. joji -- Now that is an interesting way to wear a collar. I am sure you would look very Elizabethan in a high stiff red collar -- rather think this is a unique idea -- Thanks -- barbara

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  13. Rose -- Oh yes, perhaps the Victorians missed another name -- coral flower.They do resemble under water coral now that I think about it. -- Thanks -- barbara

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  14. I would call them luxurious and velvety. And certainly beautiful!

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  15. They're very pretty, and quite unusual. I've never heard of them before. I wonder if they grow up here? Guess I'll go look.

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  16. Louise -- I grew these in Michigan from seed for three years. I couldn't find any info on the zones they grow in but here is a link that might help:

    http://gurneys.com/giant-cockscomb-flower-seed/p/15225/

    Thanks for the comment -- barbara

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  17. Sheri -- these flowers are annuals as you probably know. I don't know if you grow annuals. This one is called the crested variety (Celosia cristata). Yes, it is very velvety and luxurious.

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  18. Beautiful flowers and a bit of silliness is good for us!

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  19. These are quite strange to me. Never seen them before.

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  20. Birdman -- Yes, they are quite strange if you are not familiar with them -- especially when you consider the bloom looks like a brain on fire. Trust me -- they are beautiful once you see them. -- barbara

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  21. Witch of Stitches -- Thanks for stopping by. I agree -- laughing, dancing and silliness is healthy as well as fun.-- barbara

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  22. I've never seen anything like these! The color alone is a show-stopper, but they are such a unique shape, too! Very brainy. :-) Are they fragrant at all?

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  23. Laloofah -- No scent to speak of. Just outright beauty. I used to grow the flower and donate them to the local woman's garden club sale. They always sold out so I guess others appreciated their zany look and amazing color. I have no idea if they would grow in WY. Most seed companies carry the seed if you are interested. Thanks for the comments -- barbara

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  24. Drat, I didn't think we could grow it here but I didn't know how utterly impossible it would be! I looked it up and it's USDA Zones 9-12. We're Zone 3! Oh, well.

    I also found out it's a member of the amaranth family! (I love amaranth grain!)

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  25. Very pretty! I grew those a long time ago, I haven't seen any around here for quite a while, though.

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  26. Ohh -- Sorry about that -- I'd try it any way. They are annuals and are gone by the time you reach the really cold temps. Just for an experiment. Next to a stone or brick wall would give the flowers more heat than those out in the open. Do you grow amaranth grain? I grew it a few seasons just to see how is grew. It is a very attractive plant.

    I don't grow a large flower garden anymore. I just nurture the perennials that I have in a small patch and of course my large patch of golden six feet cosmos along with my six feet sunflowers. My focus is on wild things, flowers included. Some day I might write about my former days with flowers. I do like gardening but I have other interests now that top that category leaving me little time. Nice hearing about your research with the cockscomb. -- barbara

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  27. Hi -- thanks for stopping by. Nice that you enjoyed the photos. I visited your blog and read the very good post on the Amish and like folks. I am always impressed with the ways of the Amish.
    I first saw the type of cockscomb in this post in Michigan's Amish gardens where they plant terrific flower gardens and more. -- barbara

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