Cosmos are extremely popular summer flowers that are wonderfully easy to grow. These beautiful, sun-loving annuals are grown as ornamentals and can be used as cut flowers for vases and bouquets. Cosmos also come in a gorgeous array of colors that add to these flowers’ rich meaning and symbolism. In this article, we’ll run through everything you need to know about the rich and diverse colors cosmos flowers come in.
Cosmos Flower Colors – The Essentials
Cosmos flowers bloom in stunning shades of pink, purple, orange, red, yellow, and white. The famed chocolate cosmos displays a rich reddish-brown color. Several cultivars also have bi-colored flowers that thrive throughout the summer and autumn months each year.
|Scientific Name:||Cosmos spp.|
|Native Range:||Mexico and other parts of Central and South America|
|Growing Zones:||USDA Zones 2 to 11|
|Flowering Season:||Early summer until first fall frosts|
|Colors:||pink, purple, yellow, orange, red, white, and chocolate.|
Cosmos are members of the aster or daisy family (Asteraceae). The Cosmos genus includes approximately 35 accepted species and is named after the Greek word “kosmos”, meaning “beauty” or “harmony”.
Most types of cosmos are annuals, although chocolate cosmos (Cosmos atrosanguineus) is a perennial. Cosmos cultivars are usually derived from two species; garden cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatum) and yellow cosmos (Cosmos sulphureus).
Cosmos produce single, double, or semi-double flowers from early summer until frost arrives in the fall. These composite flowers emerge in clusters from various branches leading off the main stems. Cosmos have feathery leaves and grow in clumps measuring up to 5 feet tall and 2 to 3 feet wide.
These charming annuals have a range of uses and benefits and are also drought-tolerant. Cosmos make an excellent cut-and-come-again crop for cut flowers. Cosmos flowers also attract beneficial pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and hoverflies.
Cosmos can be affected by a few common pests and diseases, which need to be monitored throughout the season.
These cosmos flowers will benefit from fertilizing throughout the growing season and thrive best in a loose, well-draining soil base.
Cosmos Meaning and Symbolism
Cosmos flowers are associated with order and harmony due to the neat arrangement of their petals. Cosmos may also represent qualities such as beauty, innocence, joy, love, modesty, and peace. Along with marigolds, cosmos are one of the two birth flowers for October.
In the folklore of some cultures, cosmos flowers are believed to be lucky. In the Victorian language of flowers, known as floriography, cosmos represented the joy of life and love. Cosmos are traditional anniversary flowers to celebrate a couple’s second wedding anniversary.
7 Cosmos Flower Color Varieties:
Pink Cosmos Flowers
Pink cosmos are some of the most beautiful and popular cosmos varieties. These pink flowers symbolize love and affection, especially physical signals of love such as hugs and kisses. Pink cosmos varieties are also linked to maternal love, so a bouquet of pink cosmos makes a great Mother’s Day gift.
Pink cosmos varieties include:
- Cosmos ‘Daydream’ – A gorgeous bi-colored variety with light pink flowers that have rings of dark pink surrounding the yellow central florets. Grows up to 3 feet tall.
- Cosmos ‘Sonata Pink’ – Derived from Cosmos bipinnatum, this member of the ‘Sonata’ Series has beautiful pale pink blooms. Each flower can measure up to 3 inches wide.
Purple Cosmos Flowers
Purple cosmos flowers add rich shades of magenta or violet to summer borders. Like other purple flowers, these cosmos are associated with elegance, nobility, and success. In many cultures, purple has historically represented royalty. When given as gifts, purple cosmos can also convey admiration and respect.
Purple cosmos cultivars include:
- Cosmos ‘Casanova Violet’ – Belonging to the ‘Casanova’ Series, these cosmos have dark reddish-purple flowers. This compact cultivar can grow up to 16 inches tall.
- Cosmos ‘Fizzy Purple’ – These cosmos produce large, rich purple flowers that certainly look regal. Each semi-double flower also has golden yellow central florets.
Orange Cosmos Flowers
Orange cosmos have various meanings to go with their fabulously fiery flowers. Orange cosmos may symbolize ambition, energy, enthusiasm, excitement, and success. Orange flowers can also represent joy and positivity. Giving a bouquet of orange cosmos as a gift may help lift someone’s spirits during a difficult period.
Some orange cosmos varieties include:
- Cosmos ‘Carioca’ – These striking cosmos have bright orange single or semi-double flowers. ‘Carioca’ is related to yellow cosmos and grows up to 3 feet tall.
- Cosmos ‘Diablo’ – ‘Diablo’ produces fiery orange semi-double flowers and can reach up to 5 feet high. Cosmos ‘Diablo’ is derived from yellow cosmos (Cosmos sulphureus).
Red Cosmos Flowers
Red flowers are traditionally associated with love and passion, and red cosmos are no different. Red cosmos may also be linked to power and strength. Red cosmos make excellent additions to Valentine’s Day bouquets or as gifts on wedding anniversaries.
Some of the most popular red cosmos cultivars include:
- Cosmos ‘Cosmic Red’ – This compact variety is derived from Cosmos sulphureus and produces bright red semi-double flowers. ‘Cosmic Red’ can reach up to 2 feet tall.
- Cosmos ‘Rubenza’ – ‘Rubenza’ has rich, dark red single flowers that can be up to 3 inches wide. This cultivar is related to garden cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatum).
Yellow Cosmos Flowers
Yellow cosmos represent friendship, so it could be a wonderful gift for a close friend. Like other yellow flowers, yellow cosmos can have different mixed meanings. Yellow flowers can represent joy and hope but can also symbolize jealousy or disappointment. Yellow cosmos may even be linked to slighted love.
Yellow cosmos varieties include:
- Cosmos ‘Cosmic Yellow’ – This cultivar comes from the ‘Cosmic’ Series and is derived from Cosmos sulphureus. ‘Cosmic Yellow’ dazzles with its bright yellow blooms.
- Cosmos ‘Xanthos’ – These elegant cosmos have soft lemon-yellow petals with a white ring surrounding the central florets. This cultivar was bred from Cosmos bipinnatum.
White Cosmos Flowers
White flowers have many symbolic meanings but are usually associated with innocence and purity. White cosmos also represent devotion and faithfulness between romantic partners – making them an excellent choice for a wedding bouquet. Other potential white flower meanings include hope, renewal, and rebirth.
Some of the most popular white cosmos flowers include:
- Cosmos ‘Cupcakes White’ – Part of the ‘Cupcakes’ Series, these cosmos have elegant fused petals resembling cupcake wrappers. ‘Cupcakes White’ can grow up to 4 feet tall.
- Cosmos ‘Purity’ – This gorgeous cultivar produces large single white flowers with golden yellow centers. Each flower can be up to 4 inches wide.
Chocolate Cosmos Flowers
Chocolate cosmos (Cosmos atrosanguineus) is unique among cosmos as it is a tuberous perennial rather than an annual. These cosmos have rich, reddish-brown single flowers with dark brown central florets that give off scents such as cocoa or vanilla.
Chocolate cosmos have deep meaning in Mexican culture and represent harmony, order, and balance. Chocolate cosmos can also symbolize intense feelings of attraction and love, especially desire and passion.
Cosmos atrosanguineus has been used to breed several intoxicating cosmos cultivars such as ‘Black Magic’ and ‘Choca Mocha’.
Cosmos flowers are beautiful annuals that add gorgeous colors to containers or summer garden displays. Cosmos flowers come in 7 primary colors; pink, purple, orange, red, yellow, white, and chocolate. Some species have also been used to create striking bi-colored cultivars. Cosmos flowers represent a range of meanings, including order, harmony, beauty, love, and peace.
Edd is a budding content writer and gardener living in the United Kingdom. He has a bachelor's degree in Creative and Professional Writing and has written for several gardening publications online. He is passionate about nature and sustainability with a focus on gardening and wildlife.
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