While I was uploading the October Bloom Gallery, I ran across pictures of my Cosmos flowers, started from seed in early spring. I’ve planted Cosmos many times over the years and always had the same result: pretty orange blooms on 12-18in stalks, like this:
Needless to say, that’s not exactly what happened this time! Although all of this year’s seeds came from the same packet, at least a third of them behaved strangely; they kept growing..and growing…like these, seen in August, reaching 2-3ft.
But they didn’t stop there. September arrived. The same thing was happening in the back garden, as in the front. Take a look behind this Canna:
The Cosmos were out of control! Here’s a view from a different angle:
I am dead serious when i tell you…the above shot is of ONE plant, 7.5ft tall, with a stalk as sturdy as a tree trunk! Totally stymied as to why this happened, i did a little research.
Turns out, over the past decade various cosmos strains have been introduced to grow sometimes taller (or shorter) plants. If variants of these hybridizing processes get mixed up in the same seed packet, the result is a more diverse garden than you’d otherwise expect. Ironically, the original wild Cosmos flowers were MUCH taller than the ones seen in our lifetime. As they say, maybe everything old IS new again?
My inquiring mind really wants to know!
So, as this year’s specimens died back, I collected as many seed heads as i could. I’ve started re-sowing in the past few weeks, and will let you know how the next “crop” turns out!
Since we’ve been talking “orange/yellow plants”, I’ll close this out with a picture I took this morning–
Cannas Thru the Citrus
until next time!