Celosia – One Cool Looking Flower – Week 10

Celosia

Celosia and Roses

Celosia and Roses (Photo by Michael Lant - Click on image to enlarge)

In my opinion, the Celosia is one cool looking flower. I like how the curious shape adds interest to a bouquet and how the texture reminds me of a brain specimen with a velvety exterior. The furry surface and deep saturated colours of reds, oranges and yellows, make this flower a fabulous choice for fall themed floral arrangements.

I’m not the only one who is reminded of a brain specimen when looking at a celosia. In fact it is often referenced as Brain Celosia. A gentler reference is Wool Flower. However, the most popular name for this flower is Cockscomb because its shape is suggestive of a rooster’s comb. The name Celosia is derived from the Greek word “kelos,” or “burned” because of its bright, fire like colours and the pointed, flame like shape of some varieties of this flower.  In the language of flowers, the celosias symbolised humour, warmth, and silliness.

It was a challenge to find much information when researching this flower, but besides the usual references which I shared above, I did uncover one interesting fact: the celosia is a food crop in some areas of the world. The blooming time is from late summer to early fall at which time the celosia is cultivated in West Africa, Central Africa, and Southeast Asia as a leaf vegetable and cereal crop. In southern Nigeria, it is the most important leaf vegetable and is known as soko.

Recipe

I used the “cockscomb” variety of celosia for this arrangement. I found it to be quite top heavy so decided to create a design that was tight and low. I love the combination of variegated spray roses and heavily textured celosia and the rugged stone container. Rustic, yet contemporary; you can find spray roses at supermarkets and floral shops. Celosia is available from a floral shop. If you can’t find pittosporum, ivy is a perfect substitute when cut into short sprigs.

Ingredients

  • 12 – 15 spray roses
  • 1 bunch (10 stems) celosia
  • Pittosporum and/or ivy
  • Optional: 3 – 4 Cordeline leaves rolled around your finger and stapled.
  • Floral foam
  • Floral tape
  • Watertight ceramic rectangle shape container, approx. 2.5” high x 7” long

Instructions

  1. Soak floral foam and fit into container with approximately 1” of the foam showing above the edge of the container.
  2. Round off the edges of the foam and cut a well on one edge so there is a place to top up the water supply.
  3. Secure foam into container with floral tape.
  4. This arrangement is 2x the height of the container on the left side and at container height on the right side. The anchor point – the invisible point to where all stems direct themselves – is the center of the container, so remember this as you insert each flower.
  5. It doesn’t matter which end you start on, but try to create a smooth gradation from tall to short (or short to tall) with the roses and celosia. I started with a larger celosia and fit roses around it to begin the design.
  6. Fill in gaps with pittosporum and ivy.
  7. Tuck rolled cordeline leaves into both ends of the arrangement.

Note: I broke my promise a little with this floral design because it is a somewhat tricky to create, so take your time and be confident that your final piece will look gorgeous no matter what.

Thought of the week: “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” Maria Robinson

Next week: Alstromeria

As always, I look forward to your comments.

Liz

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