Colours and shapes
Celosia has several faces. The plant is available with flaming torches (spicata, sturdy spear-like flowers), adorable little tails or a fantastic comb full of velvet whorls that look like brains. The colours are blinding: white, red, yellow, pink, purple, orange, green or multi-coloured, which combine colours such as orange and red. Celosia reaches a height of 35-40 cm, has a slightly spicy fragrance and needs nothing apart from enough water to keep flowering beautifully for months.
Celosia is a member of the Amaranth family and grows in tropical regions in Africa, Asia, Indonesia and South America. There are around 45 known species. The name is derived from the Greek word 'keleos', which means ‘burning’ and refers to the flame shape of the original plant. Another name is Cockscomb, in reference to the top of the head of a cockerel.
Celosia symbolises boldness. If you want to wish someone courage in something challenging, the slightly unusual Celosia makes an excellent gift.