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Bright Lights Mix - Cosmos

Cosmos Mix
This nOde last updated December 5th, 2002 and is permanently morphing...
(1 Chuen (Monkey) / 4 Mak - 131/260 - 12.19.9.14.11)

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Cosmos

Cosmos, genus of tropical American herbs  containing about 26 species. The plants are tall with feathery leaves and brightly colored, rayed flowers borne on long stems. They blossom in late summer and early fall. Three species are often grown in gardens in the United States. The most common is the garden cosmos, an annual that grows to 3 m (10 ft). The flowers of this species are internal link8 cm (3 in) in diameter and are composed of yellow disks surrounded by petals, or rays, of various shades, ranging from white to crimson. A perennial, the black cosmos grows from a tuberous root. The plant is about 40 cm (about 16 in) tall and has flowers with red disks and purplish-red rays. Another species, the yellow cosmos, growing to about 1.8 m (about 6 ft), has yellow flowers.
Scientific classification: Cosmos belong to the family Compositae. The garden cosmos is classified as Cosmos bipinnatus, the black cosmos as Cosmos diversifolius, and the yellow cosmos as Cosmos sulphureus.



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DESCRIPTION: These beautiful annual and tender perennial plants are found wild in Mexico. They'll grow from 18 inches to 6 feet high. The leaves are 3 to 5 inches long and finely divided. The single or double flowers are 2 to 6 inches across and come in a variety of colors. C. sulphureus may be orange, yellow, or mahogany and C. bipinnatus may be pink, rose, crimson, lilac, or white. They  bloom in the summer and early fall. C. atrosanguineus, the Chocolate Cosmos, is a pretty tender perennial that grows up to 2 feet high with a spread of 18 inches. The dark internal linkgreen leaves are spoon-shaped and divided and sometimes shaded with purple. The maroon-crimson, single flowers are produced on thin stems from late summer until the first frost and they give off a chocolate scent.

POTTING: Cosmos will flourish in regular, well-drained, moist garden soil in a position that is sheltered from strong winds.
They love internal linksun. If the soil is too fertile, the plants will produce an abundance of foliage at the expense of the flowers. Removing dead flowers will increase the amount of blooms. In the winter, protect the tubers with dry mulch or lift the tubers and store them in a cool, dry, frost-free place.

PROPAGATION: Seeds may be sown indoors in a 70 degree temperature, 4 to 6 weeks before it's safe to plant outdoors.  They should be planted in pots or pans of loam, leaf mold and sand. The baby plants are transplanted to flats or are potted individually in small pots. Seeds may be sown where they are to grow when the soil is warm. Basal cuttings may also be used in the spring.

VARIETIES: C. bipinnatus; C. sulphureus; C. diversifolius; C. atrosanguineus. (There are named varieties of the natural types.)



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