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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 4 | Amaranthaceae

1. Celosia Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 205. 1753; Gen. Pl. ed. 5, 96. 1754.

Cockscomb [Greek keleos, burning, alluding to color and/or appearance of the inflorescence of C. cristata]

Kenneth R. Robertson

Herbs or subshrubs, annual or perennial. Stems erect or clambering-straggling. Leaves alternate, petiolate; blade mostly lanceolate, ovate, or deltate. Inflorescences terminal and often axillary spikes or panicles, often fasciated in cultivated forms, many-flowered. Flowers bisexual; tepals 3-5, distinct, membranous or scarious, usually glabrous; filaments connate basally into cups; anthers 4-locular; pseudostaminodes absent; ovules 3-many; style persistent, 0.2-4 mm; stigmas 2-3, capitate or subulate. Utricles ovoid, membranaceous, dehiscence centrally circumscissile. Seeds (2-)3-many, black, flattened. x = 9.

Species ca. 65 (5 in the flora): primarily tropical, subtropical Americas, Asia, and Africa.


Grant, W. F. 1961. Speciation and basic chromosome number in the genus Celosia. Canad. J. Bot. 39: 45-50. Grant, W. F. 1962. Speciation and nomenclature in the genus Celosia. Canad. J. Bot. 40: 1355-1363.

1 Styles 3-4 mm; inflorescences dense, cylindric, 13-20 mm diam. spikes, or fasciated, crested or plumose   (2)
+ Styles 0.2-1 mm; inflorescences lax spikes or panicles, units less than 10 mm diam   (3)
2 (1) Inflorescences cylindric or ovoid spikes; tepals silvery white or pinkish   4 Celosia argentea
+ Inflorescences fasciated, crested, or plumose; tepals pink, red, yellow, purple, or white   5 Celosia cristata
3 (1) Plants annual herbs; tepals silvery, whitish, or tannish, 1-veined, 2-3 mm   3 Celosia trigyna
+ Plants perennial herbs, subshrubs , or shrubs; tepals green, greenish white, pinkish green, or white with reddish base, drying tan, striate, 3.5-6(-7) mm   (4)
4 (3) Leaf blades deltate to triangular-lanceolate, not lobed; stigmas 3.   1 Celosia nitida
+ Leaf blades moderately hastate, lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate; stigmas 2.   2 Celosia palmeri

Lower Taxa


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