Scientific: Cosmos bipinnatus
Common: cosmos
Family: Asteraceae
Origin: Open meadows and scrubby sites from the southern United States into South America.

Pronounciation: COZ-mos bi-pin-NA-tus

Hardiness zones
Sunset
All
USDA All

Landscape Use: Cosmos is a wonderfully cheerful accent and border plant for mixed flower gardens around the world. In arid climates like Phoenix, cosmos is grown during the cool season in mesic (well watered) flower gardens. In cooler climates, cosmos is great as a summer annual for flower gardens and planters such as this one at the famous Rilla monastery in Bulgaria.

Form & Character: Herbaceous annual, bright, festive when flowering, stiff upright, tender, open and airy.

Growth Habit: Stiffly upright and vigorous, from 2 to 7 feet in height depending on cultivated variety.

Foliage/Texture: Opposite, variable in length, medium dark green, pinnately cut; fine texture.

Flowers & Fruits: Brilliant white to magenta ray flowers, solitary or in clusters, 2 inches in diameter with 8 petals and small yellow centers; fruits are achenes.

Seasonal Color: Flowers freely throughout the warm season.

Temperature: Tolerant of all but highest summer heat, will freeze to ground in coldest climates.

Light: Partial shade to full sun, avoid intense western exposures.

Soil: Well drained with some organic matter, tolerant of some alkalinity.

Watering: Regular

Pruning: Head back slightly after bloom to promote secondary blooms.

Propagation: Seed

Disease and pests: None

Additional comments: The genus Cosmos contains about 25 species of annual and perennial plant species. There are many named cultivars of variable height and flower color. Cosmos can make a warm and unassuming addition to any flower garden.