During the 18th century, the cockscomb was considered a potted plant by the British, while in the American colonies, they were a popular garden flower. Thomas Jefferson, ever the connoisseur of the strange or unique when it came to gardening included these velvety rich-colored cockscomb flowers in his flower garden.
- Packet of Cockscomb flower seeds
- Annual plant Celosia cristata
- Made in the USA
- Williamsburg exclusive!
Cockscomb Flower Seeds can be grown easily from seed. Direct seed in late spring or early summer when the soil temperature has risen above 70 degrees. Cover with 1/4 inch of soil and keep moist until germination. The Cockscomb Flower Seeds will germinate in less than two weeks. The plants require full sun and like warmth, but their roots must be kept moist at all times. If the roots are allowed to dry out, the plant and its flower will be permanently damaged. The crests and plumes will begin to appear by late July or early August. To achieve the largest crests on the cockscomb, the plants need rich soil and they need to be fed every two weeks with a fertilizer high in nitrogen and phosphorus. Both the crests and the plumes can be dried.
In his 1851 book, The Flower Garden, Joseph Breck said, "Celosia cristata (the cockscombs) is common in most gardens...The color of the scarlet varieties is highly brilliant. None of the other colors are so rich. The yellows are generally rather dull — some of them dirty looking. The scarlets and crimsons are the only colors that look well. There are tall and dwarf varieties..."
During the Victorian era, cockscomb became an important part of many Victorian gardens. In the 1920's and 1930's, the plants became popular in exhibit competitions at county/state fairs where the object was to product the plant with the largest crest. One award winning specimen had a 21 inch crest.