The celosia flower, which is more commonly referred to as the cockscomb, is an unusual looking genus of roughly 60 species. Celosias – which are members of the amaranthaceae family and amaranthoideae subfamily – are said to have originated on the dry slopes of Africa, though this story is heavily debated, as they are also occasionally placed in regions of India, and rocky areas of both North and South America. These silky flowers vary slightly in appearance. Some species blossom as velvet-like, rippled cockscomb shapes, while other types appear as feathery plumes or dense spikes. They all come in striking, vibrant shades of red, orange and yellow, as well as gold, wine and sometimes even pink.
As well as being stunning in appearance, the hardy celosia flower is also considered to be a very useful plant. Like its cousin, the amaranth flower, it is said to have many uses in the culinary realm. The leaves of several celosia species are frequently consumed as a protein-rich leafy vegetable. They are also turned into cereals, stewed and placed into soups, or fried with peppers, lime juice and garlic. In addition to being used as a fantastic food staple, these plants are sometimes applied to arts and crafts. They are thought to be one of the everlasting varieties of blossoms, and are commonly dried. They are often placed in arrangements with other dry flowers, but they may also make fantastic centerpieces, as well as unusual clothing accessories and wreaths – which are frequently created for All Saint’s Day. Given that “celosia” is derived from the Greek word “kelos,” or “burned,” it is not surprising to find that these plants are sometimes used in a poultice to heal burned skin. They are also thought to be very useful in healing other skin conditions and irritations, as well as eye problems, dysuria and even gastrointestinal ailments. Scientific studies of the celosia argentea have also yielded promising results that show that these plants may act as an anti-diabetic.
To some, the celosia flower represents a certain foolishness; to others, they represent a joyous, uncomplicated affection. These fantastic blossoms make wonderful floral gifts, as they are not only unique in appearance, but they can also be expressive of strong feelings of attachment. Given their bold hues, it would be hard to ignore the symbolism of each of the common colors, and how they may correspond to what you are trying to express. To some, the bright scarlet blossoms can symbolize courage, passion and vitality; orange is sometimes associated with creativity and boldness of spirit; while yellow can mean cheerfulness, happiness and peace.