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Celosia argentea - (L.)Kuntze.

Common Name Common Cockscomb, Crested Celosia
Family Amaranthaceae
USDA hardiness 9-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Open moist places to elevations of 1600 metres in Nepal[272].
Range Pantropics.
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (1 of 5)
Weed Potential Yes
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care
Half Hardy Well drained soil Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Celosia argentea Common Cockscomb, Crested Celosia


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Celosia argentea Common Cockscomb, Crested Celosia
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Summary

Common Cockscomb (Celosia argentea), otherwise known as Silver Cock’s Comb, Quail Grass, or Cock’s Comb, is a tropical, short-lived, annual, erect herb that reaches up to 1 m tall. The leaves are arranged alternately and light green in colour but darker on flowering shoots. It is characterized by its brightly coloured flowers in red or purple. It is propagated by seeds which are very small. Common cockscomb is an important and nutritious vegetable. The leaves and young shoots are cooked and used in soups and stews. The seed yields edible oil. Further, it is generally used in medicine as relief from diarrhoea, bloodshot eyes, hypertension, cataracts, poison from snake bites, and blurring of vision. However, it is not advisable for people with glaucoma as it dilates the pupils. In Papua New Guinea, it is planted as an ornamental and not often used as a food. Bloom Color: Orange, Pink, Red, Yellow. Main Bloom Time: Early summer, Early fall, Late summer, Mid summer. Form: Upright or erect.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Celosia argentea is a ANNUAL growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 9 and is frost tender. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Wind, Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Amaranthus cristatus Noronha Amaranthus huttonii H.J.Veitch Amaranthus purpureus Nieuwl. Amaranthus

Habitats

Edible Uses

Leaves and young shoots - cooked[ 177 , 178 , 179 ]. An important and nutritious vegetable [ 46 , 272 ]. Used in soups and stews[ 300 , 418 ]. The leaves retain a pleasant green colour when cooked - they soften readily and should not be overcooked[ 298 ]. The texture is soft and the flavour very mild and spinach-like with no hint of bitterness[ 298 ]. An edible oil can be obtained from the seed[ 301 ].

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


The flowers and seed are astringent, haemostatic, ophthalmic, parasiticide and poultice[ 147 , 176 , 178 ]. They are used in the treatment of bloody stool, haemorrhoid bleeding, uterine bleeding, leucorrhoea, dysentery and diarrhoea[ 176 , 299 ]. As a parasiticide it is very effective against Trichomonas, a 20% extract can cause the Trichomonas to disappear in 15 minutes[ 176 ]. The seed is hypotensive and ophthalmic[ 176 ]. It also has an antibacterial action, inhibiting the growth of Pseudomonas[ 176 ]. It is used in the treatment of diarrhoea, bloodshot eyes, blurring of vision, cataracts and hypertension, but should not be used by people with glaucoma because it dilates the pupils[ 176 , 299 ]. The seeds are widely used in India for the treatment of diabetes mellitus[ 299 ]. A liquid extract from the leaves and flowers is used as a body wash for convalescents[ 299 ]. The leaves are used in the treatment of infected sores, wounds and skin eruptions[ 299 ]. The whole plant is used as an antidote for snakebites[ 299 ]. The roots are used in the treatment of colic, gonorrhoea and eczema[ 299 ].

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Other Uses

Other uses rating: Low (1/5). Other Uses: Can be grown as an ornamental. Known for its very bright colors. Used in Africa to help control the growth of the parasitic Striga plant. It can also be used in soaps.

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses: Border, Container, Massing, Seashore. A plant of the tropics, able to be grown also in the subtropics and warm temperate zones. It can be grown at elevations up to 1,600 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 25 - 30°c, but can tolerate 20 - 40°c[ 418 ]. It can be killed by temperatures of 5°c or lower[ 418 ]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,500 - 2,500mm, but tolerates 1,000 - 3,000mm[ 418 ]. For best leaf production, the plant requires a fertile, moisture-retentive but well-drained soil in a sunny sheltered position[ 200 , 300 ], though it is tolerant of a range of soil types[ 300 ]. Prefers a pH in the range 6 - 6.5, tolerating 5.5 - 7.5[ 418 ]. Originally from tropical Africa, the plant has spread wherever humans have gone in the tropics and subtropics, both as a weed and as an escape from cultivation[ 305 ]. Early vegetative growth is slow, but flowering may occur already 6 - 7 weeks after sowing. Improved cultivars have a more rapid early vegetative development but flower later, 12 - 14 weeks after sowing[ 299 ] The green form can be harvested for leaves and green shoots 30 - 40 days from sowing, and for seeds after 80 - 90 days[ 418 ]. The red form is somewhat slower, but produces seeds 100 - 120 days from sowing[ 418 ]. Leaf yields from the green form may be 10 - 15 kg per 10 square metres. The red form yields about 25 kg per 10 square metres[ 418 ]. The early flowering of local cultivars or wild types makes them less attractive to consumers and more amenable to once-over harvesting by uprooting, whereas the improved cultivars can be harvested by uprooting as well as by repeated cutting. Flowering is delayed by repeated cutting of the tender vegetative parts[ 299 ]. Plants have a tolerance to both dry and humid growing conditions and have few pest or disease problems[ 298 ]. Plants will often self-sow[ 298 ]. There are many named varieties, selected for their ornamental value[ 200 ]. Special Features: Attracts butterflies, Suitable for cut flowers, Suitable for dried flowers.

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The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

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Propagation

Seed - sow in situ. Germination should take place within 5 - 7 days.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Other Names: Adefo, Alefo, Avunvo, Ayinkpinnan, Bayam ekor belanda, Bayam ekur kuching, Bayam merah, Borocho, Bostan afras, Chare maguri, Chinese Cock’s Comb, Dhura dru, Ekaliyo, Foxtail amaranth, Garka, Gurugu, Horbaita, Huldi murga, Jengger ayam, Ji guan hua, Kanju, Kodijuttutotakura, Kokan, Koontha, Kukudda, Kunjru, Kurada, Kurdu, Kyet -monk, Lagos spinach, Lahenga, Lal murga, Lal murghka, Lambadi, Lapadi, Lasor, Leheti sak, Mawal, Mayura-shikha, Mesor, Mora shikha, Ninga, Panchechettu, Pannai, Pila murghka, Pile murghka, Safed murga-ka-phul, Salara, Sarpankha, Sarwari, Sifaid murgha, Silver and red foxtail, Silwari, Sirgit ara, Sirmali, Sokoyokoto, Soman, Surli, Surwari, Suwari, Swet morog, Swetmurga, Taji khoros, Tambadi, Tchokoyokoto, Tetekpkpo, Torcha, Torchata, Vitunna, Zo-ci.

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Found In: Africa, Asia, Australia, Benin, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Burma, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central Africa, Central African Republic, CAR, Chad, China, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Cuba, Dominican Republic, East Africa, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, France, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guiana, Guinea, Guinée, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Hawaii, India, Indochina, Indonesia, Italy, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Laos, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nauru, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Northeastern India, Oman, Pacific, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, PNG, Philippines, Russia, SE Asia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sikkim, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, South America, Southern Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Uganda, USA, Vietnam, West Africa, West Indies, Yemen, Zambia.

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

In India and China it is known as a troublesome weed.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed.

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Celosia argentea cristataCommon Cockscomb, Crested Celosia43

 

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Author

(L.)Kuntze.

Botanical References

200

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