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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 1/25/2013)

Flora Data (Last Modified On 1/25/2013)
PlaceOfPublication Sp. P1. 205. 1753.
Synonym Ceosia cristata L. loc. cit. 205. 1753. Celosia margaritacea L. Sp. P1. ed. 2:297. 1763. Celosia coccinea L. loc. cit. 297. 1763. Celosia pyramidalis Burm. Fl. Ind. 65. 1768. Celosia marilandica Retz. Obs. Bot. 3 :27. 1783. Celosia pallida Salisb. Prodr. 145. 1796. Celosia buttonii Mast. in Gard. Chron. 215. 1872. Amaranthus purpureus Nieuwl. in Amer. Midl. Nat. 3:279. 1914.
Description Erect glabrous simple or much branched annuals to 1 m. high. Leaves glabrous, linear-lanceolate to rhombic or ovate, apically acuminate to acute, 3-12 cm. long, 0.5-6 cm. broad; petioles 1-30 mm. long. Inflorescence of simple (quite complex, often fasciated, in cultivated varieties) pedunculate cylindric spikes 2-20 cm. long, 1-2 cm. broad. Flowers perfect, the uppermost occasionally sterile, sessile; bracts and bracteoles subequal, ovate, mucronate, 2-7 mm. long; sepals 5, subequal, ovate, concave, mucronate, white to pinkish (variously colored in cultivated varieties), erect in fruit, 6-10 mm. long; stamens 5, 3-5 mm. long, the tube shorter than the free portions of the filaments; pseudostaminodia minute and deltoid or absent; anthers oblong; ovary ellipsoid; style 1, 3-6 mm. long, usually exceeding the sepals; stigmata 2 (-3), minute. Fruit a circumscissile capsule, shorter than the calyx, 3-4 mm. long; seeds (1-) 3-6 (-9), cochleate-orbiculate, dark reddish brown, about 1.5 mm. broad.
Distribution Cultivated in many regions, possibly natives of Africa,
Note the cockscombs are reported by Standley (in Contr. U. S. Nat. Herb. 27:172. 1928) to be cultivated in gardens in Panama, where they are called abanico. The cultivants often escape and morphologically approach the natural variety. Backer (in Fl. Mal. 42:74. 1949.) notes that in some escapes, one branch may bear the mark of cultivation with another resembling the wild form. He informs us that the seeds are used by the Chinese for poultices and for adorning cakes, while the leaves furnish an inferior vegetable. In India, where it is used medicinally and as a vegetable, it often appears spontaneously in paddy and ragi fields. Among vernacular names reported from Mexico and Central America are mnoio, san jose, cresta de gallo, amor seco, mano de le'n, for de mano, amaranto and boria.
Common mnoio san jose
Common cresta de gallo amor seco
Common mano de le'n for de mano
Common amaranto boria
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