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COSMOS sulphureus

Image of Cosmos sulphureus

James H. Schutte

Family

Asteraceae

Botanical Name

COSMOS sulphureus

Plant Common Name

Golden Cosmos, Sulphur Cosmos

General Description

Golden cosmos is a tall, fast growing annual originating from Mexico that displays sunny, golden-yellow daisies in summer. Its upright, branching stems are lined with ferny, deeply divided foliage. They are topped throughout summer by many single, yellow to yellow-orange, bowl-shaped flowers which are visited by butterflies. The blooms are composed of showy ray petals surrounding a central button of yellow disc flowers, and are followed by sharp, star-like clusters of brown seeds.

This colorful, drought tolerant annual performs best in full sun and well-drained soil of low to modest fertility. Excessive water and fertilizer can result in leggy growth and fewer flowers. The plants may tend to be short-lived; however, prolonged bloom display can be achieved by sowing seeds in succession. Or, seeds may be gathered from the plants in midsummer, then scattered on the ground where they should germinate quickly, resulting in fresh blooms by late summer to fall.

Several popular strains and cultivars of golden cosmos have been developed which offer more compact growth, double flowers, and a wider range of colors including red and orange red. All are suitable as bedding annuals, in wildflower gardens, or for filling gaps in well-drained mixed borders.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • Sunset Zone

    1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Annual

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    1'-6' / 0.3m - 1.8m

  • Width

    1'-2' / 0.3m - 0.6m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall

  • Native To

    Mexico

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Yellow, Orange

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Bedding Plant, Cutflower, Mixed Border, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds, Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes