Cosmos Cav.

Greek kosmos - beautiful, an allusion to the showy capitula.

Annual or perennial herbs, glabrous to hairy. Stems erect or ascending. Leaves along stems, opposite, margins entire to divided, sessile or petiolate. Capitula radiate, terminal, solitary or in corymbs, with long stalks. Involucral bracts in 2 rows, joined at base, overlapping, unequal. Receptacle with scales, flat. Ray florets sterile, ligulate, variously coloured. Disk florets bisexual, tubular, usually yellow. Achenes narrow, compressed, beaked. Pappus of 2-8 barbed or hairy bristles, or absent.

Two species have become naturalised in Australia in moister warmer regions.

Large, brightly coloured capitula; beaked achenes.

About 26 species in C America and tropical N and S America.

Source: Jeanes, J. (2002). Asteraceae. In: Spencer, R.. Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 4. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 3. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.

Hero image
kingdom Plantae
phylum   Tracheophyta
class    Magnoliopsida
superorder     Asteranae
order      Asterales
family       Asteraceae
Higher taxa
Subordinate taxa
species         Cosmos bipinnatus Cav.