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‘Cramer’s Amazon’ Celosia
by Phillip Oliver


The flowers turn white from the bottom up as they age and make a striking contrast.


A tall plant, this celosia can grow from 6-9 feet. Pinching it back when it is about 12 inches tall will promote branching so it will not get as large.

The word Celosia comes from the Greek keleos, which means “burnt” and refers to the fiery colors of this dramatic and versatile annual. Celosias come in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes. ‘Cramer’s Amazon’ is named after Ralph Cramer who discovered it in Peru.

“Amazon” is an apt description because this is a whopper of a plant that produces masses of blooming spikes that attract hordes of butterflies and hummingbirds. It is advisable to pinch plants when they are 12 inches tall, otherwise you will end up with plants 9 feet tall! Even with pinching, plants will form healthy clumps about 6-7 feet tall.

The deep burgundy leaves, coupled with 3-inch magenta spiky blooms that turn white from the bottom with age, are an exotic sight in the garden. The flowers can be cut and used for both fresh or dried flower arrangements. Or just plant in a spot where you can observe the frenzy of hummingbirds and pollinators who love this plant.
 



Common Name: Celosia

Variety: ‘Cramer’s Amazon’

Botanical Name: Celosia argentea

Type: Annual

Color: Flowers are pink, magenta and violet/lavender with burgundy leaves.

Blooming Period: Midsummer through fall

Light: Full sun

How to Plant: Transplant seedlings after soil has warmed or direct-sow seeds after danger of frost in well-drained soil.

Pruning: Pinch-prune the plants when they are about 12 inches tall and they will produce a dozen or more stems per plant.

Watering: Average, 1 inch per week (may need more during periods of drought)

Propagation: Allow seed heads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds.

In Your Landscape: Use in borders, cutting gardens, hummingbird gardens.

 

(From Alabama Gardener Volume X Issue IX. Photos courtesy of Phillip Oliver.)

Posted April 2012

 


Phillip Oliver is a master gardener who chronicles the progress of his own garden at phillipoliver.net. You can read his ‘Dirt Therapy’ blog posts at alabamagardener.com.

 

       

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