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Cosmos bipinnatus

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Cosmos bipinnatus, commonly called the garden cosmos or Mexican aster,<ref name=BSBI07>Template:Cite web</ref> is a medium-sized flowering herbaceous plant native to Mexico. The species and its varieties and cultivars are popular as an ornamental plant in temperate climate gardens. It naturalized in scattered locations across North America, South America, the West Indies, Italy, Australia, and Asia, where it is a garden escape (introduced species) and in some habitats becoming a weed.<ref name=hilda>Biota of North America Program 2014 county distribution map</ref><ref>Flora of North America, Cosmos bipinnatus Cavanilles</ref><ref>Flora of China, 秋英 qiu ying, Cosmos bipinnatus Cavanilles</ref><ref>Atlas of Living Australia</ref><ref>Altervista Flora Italiana, Astro messicano, fiederblättriges Schmuckkörbchen, rosenskära, Cosmos bipinnatus Cav.</ref>



Cosmos bipinnatus

Cosmos bipinnatus is considered a half-hardy annual, although plants may reappear via self-sowing for several years. The plant height varies from Template:Convert. The cultivated varieties appear in shades of pink and purple as well as white. Its foliage is finely cut into threadlike segments. When flowering, the plant can become top heavy. This problem is alleviated when grown in groups, as the bipinnate leaves interlock, and the colony supports itself.<ref name=hilda/>


Some of the varieties of Cosmos bipinnatus in cultivation today include:

(those marked Template:Smallcaps have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit).


Growth characteristics of this plant include:

  • Germination takes between 7 and 10 days at the optimal temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 °C); flowering begins between 60 and 90 days after germination
  • It prefers a soil pH between 6.0 and 8.5, reflecting its native habitat in the alkaline regions of Central America
  • Flowering is best in full sun, although partial shade is tolerated

Excessive rain can cause cultivation problems, due to the delicate nature of the stems. Heavy rain can cause breakage. Cosmos bipinnatus can tolerate heat as long as adequate moisture is provided, however, it does not handle droughts, strong winds or cold temperatures well. Snails, slugs and aphids have a taste for Cosmos bipinnatus. Successfully cultivated plants can mature 2 to 4 feet x 12 to 18 inches.<ref name="AsakawaAsakawa2001"/>


The flowers of Cosmos bipinnatus attract birds and butterflies,<ref name="AsakawaAsakawa2001">Template:Cite book</ref> including the Monarch butterfly. It can be part of butterfly gardening and pollinators-honey bee habitat gardens.<ref name="AsakawaAsakawa2001"/>




External links

  • This page was last modified on 23 February 2016, at 11:35.
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