Celosia argentea var. spicata
days to maturity: 90 days
plant spacing: 1 plant per square foot, trellised
sunlight requirements: 8-14 hours
look out for: worms in the growing tip
harvest notes: clip flowering tips as needed
Flamingo Celosia is a variety of tropical friendly amaranth that we grow in our gardens for production of its showy, edible, variegated leaves and beautiful flower spikes. The celosia flower is already quite dry in nature, lasting a long time on the plant and even longer in a vase. You can also cut the flowers and hang them upside down to use as a dry flower for arrangements.
Amaranth is commonly grown throughout the world for its edible grain, and many Caribbean & African countries use the leaves as cooked greens in traditional dishes like the stewed green ‘callaloo’. In the permaculture community, we have also heard this variety referred to as ‘Lagos Spinach’, when grown for its edible leaf crop. Amaranth leaves contain more protein than spinach and high amounts of Vitamin A, Folate, Magnesium & Vitamin K.
Flamingo celosia is a much larger plant than many of the other colorful ornamental celosia varieties grown by flower farms, so make sure to give it lots of space. With a long hot growing season the plant will reach its peak size of about 6 feet tall and it creates a large shrub with hundreds of pointed blossoms. If harvested and pruned heavily it can stay smaller so its up to you how big and competitive this plant will be in your garden. For some reason, Celosia seeds are quite pricey online, but the plant makes tons of them and they are easy to gather and save. Once the flowers start to fade in color at the base and the flowers pop open you can simply cut and shake the flower spike into a bag and save for next season.