Saturday, February 18, 2012

Cosmos bipinnatus

Cosmos bipinnatus with dark purple Achillea

This Cosmos needs no introduction as it is fairly well known amongst gardeners. The tall varieties are usually grown by seed sown directly where they are to grow, though the low growing variety 'Sonata', which only reaches about 30cm, is often sold as a bedding plant or as potted colour. I like the ones which reach about 2 metres and when grown close together they support each other and are less prone to blowing over in a strong wind. If you grow them from seed and they self seed and come up again in the same spot you may get some interesting colour variations and shapes. Some of the white ones amongst this patch have produced flowers which have a centre spray of spiked petals which looks quite unusual. Cosmos bipinnatus originates from Mexico and Central America tolerating soils of low fertility and hot dry conditions making it a good flower to grow for beginner gardeners. It also attracts lots of bees and beneficial insects to the garden.

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