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This Flower Was Part Of My Bouquet – What Is It?

Ask The Plant Expert:

This flower was part of a bouquet and dropped a lot of very small round black seeds. What is the name of this plant? – Shirley

Burgundy Cockscomb

Flower Shop Network Plant Expert Reply: Shirley, the name of flower is Celosia.

This interesting pink flower is commonly called cockscomb because it resembles the comb of a rooster. The genus name is Celosia. The perennial cockscomb is Celosia argentea and the annual types fall under Celosia spicata.

Celosia History

Celosia’s name is derived from the Greek word for “burning.” It grows widespread across Mexico, where it is known as “Velvet flower.” In northern South America, tropical Africa, the West Indies, South, East and Southeast Asia where it is grown as a native or naturalized wildflower, and is cultivated as a nutritious leafy green vegetable. It is traditional fare in the countries of Central and West Africa, and is one of the leading leafy green vegetables in Nigeria, where it is known as ‘soko yokoto’, meaning “make husbands fat and happy”.

Celosia Flower

An interesting addition to the garden, Celosia is also a versatile flower for decorating. Florists use it both as a cut flower in fresh arrangements and as a dried flower in permanent arrangements.  So enjoy this wonderful flower while you can – a killing frost will put them to rest for the winter.

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What Do Lily Seeds Look Like?

Ask the Expert: Lilies
I have some beautiful lilies that are about 3 feet tall, orange, and they have what looks like a black seed. It is attached between the leaf and the stem-about the size of a peanut. Are these seeds? If not, what are they? If they are seeds, what do I do with them…plant them or what? Thanks!!!

Plant Expert Reply:

The lily family has many members most of which form round black seeds.  Usually the seed form at the end of a bloom stem.  You can plant the seeds now or harvest and save them to plant later.  If you want to save them wait until the pod opens and collect the seed.  Place the seed in a plastic resealable bag. Be sure to remove as much air as possible. Place the bag with seeds in your refrigerator vegetable crisper until you need them.

Perennial Flowers For Father’s Day

Ask the Expert: What perennial is easy to grow?
I want to give my friend seeds to plant on Father’s Day to remember her Father who just passed away last month.  I think it would be a nice gift if every year she has a flower that blooms and reminds her of her dad.  I was hoping to find a perennial flower that symbolizes rememberance that is easy to plant and grow in the suburbs of Chicago.  She does not have a green thumb so something that basically requires very little or no attention would be preferable.  Does such a flower exist?  Joanna

Plant Expert Reply:

The first perennial that come to mind is the Myosotis (Forget-me-not flower).  This plant has long been used as a short-lived perennial that symbolizes remembrance or memories.  It come in blue, white, blush and yellow flowers. It should be easy to start from seed.

However, there are several perennials I would choose instead of Forget-me-nots.  Although these perennials don’t necessarily have a meaning associated with them, I would choose Balloon Flower (Platycodon grandiflorous), Blanket Flower (Galardia x grandiflora), or Garden Phlox (Phlox paniculata). These perennials are easy grow from seed, fairly easy to maintain and bloom longer than most perennials flowers.

Keep in mind perennials even though they come back every year require a lot of work. Your friend will need to tend to the bed throughout the year to keep it free from weeds. If your friend doesn’t have a green thumb, an annual bed or pot garden might be a better way to remember her dad this Father’s Day. Annual beds and pots are a little easier to maintain because you can start from scratch each year. It could also become a future tradition. She could sow Zinnias which are symbolically used for “Daily Remembrance” in a pot or in an annual bed every year. They are fairly easy to care for and a beautiful way to remember her father.

Whatever you choose for her, I’m sure she will appreciate the thoughtfulness of your gift. Flowers are a wonderful way to help comfort those we love.

Blackberry Lilies Have Round Black Seeds

Round Black Seeds From A Blackberry lily

Round Black Seeds From A Blackberry lily

Ask the Expert: dont know what this flower is called a long time ago my neighbor had this really nice flower in the front yard. i liked it so i got some seed pods from it. well..forgetful me, i forgot to write it down. do you by chance know? the seeds are black, round and very hard..like bb’s, but bigger. 3-4 seeds per pod. i hope you can help. thanks


Belamcanda chinesis Blackberry Lily From Cal' Plant Of The Week

Belamcanda chinesis Blackberry Lily From Cal' Plant Of The Week

Lily seed was the first thought that popped into my head when I saw the black round seeds in your picture.  Of course,  there are hundreds of lilies and lily like plants to choose from. I had to think about it for a while.  And, have to say my first choice is a Blackberry lily or Leopard Lily (Belamcanda chinesis).  This a a great naturalizing perennial in rock gardens and as a border plant.  However, this is a short lived perennial.  When I had these in my garden, I would let the seeds come up every other year to keep my area heathly and full.  This is what I would call an old fashion plant.  Because it propagated easily, old homesteads used this plant in abundance.  Unfortunately, you don’t see it as much any more.

Give credit where credit is due —
The blackberry lily picture shown comes from Cal’s Plant of the Week –  October 13-19, 2000.  This photo was taken by Cal Lemke.  He is the University of Oklahoma‘s botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener.