Thursday, June 26, 2008

Celosia Cristata (Crested Cockcombs)

Celosia Cristata (Crested Cockcombs)

Celosias are one of the most eye-catching annuals to grow in the garden. These tender annuals come from tropical Asia and other warm countries. The plant bears brightly colored flowers that resemble a cock's comb in appearance. Celosia bloom in the summer and fall. These plants will grow from 1-3 feet high.

How to grow:

If planning to grow cockscomb outdoors from seed then it is best to sow them in a partially shaded or sunny area of the garden before the last frost of spring. Once sown then celosia seeds should be covered. They prefer soils that are moist with a pH of 6 to 7. If you plan to grow cockscomb seedlings indoors first then they should be prepared about 7 or 8 weeks before planting then out after the last frost of spring. They take around one to two weeks to germinate at a temperature of about 22 to 24C. The should be spaced from 30 to 45 cm apart depending upon the size of celosia species. To ensure good growth of cockscomb the soil should be kept moist, humid and a light feed given throughout the period of growth.

Uses : The flowers are acrid, astringent, styptic, depurative, utreine sadative, constipating, antibacterial, corrective of urinary pigments, febrifuge and alexeteric. They are useful in the conditions of kapha and pitta, leprosy, burning sensation, skin diseases, diarrhoea, dysentery, fever, headache, hemorrhoids, herpes, internal hemorrhage, leukorrhea, liver disorders, menorrhagia, ulcers, wounds. Juice of leaves is used in bilious sickness. They are also valued as a stimulant in pregnancy. The seed is hypotensive and ophthalmic. It is used in the treatment of bloodshot eyes, blurring of vision, cataracts and hypertension. The flower and seed is astringent, haemostatic, parasiticide and poultice. It is used in the treatment of bloody stool, haemorrhoid bleeding, uterine bleeding, leucorrhoea and diarrhoea.

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