'Seashells Mix' Cosmos
Improvement status: Landrace
Seeds per packet: ~100
Germination tested 11/2021: 96%
Life cycle: Annual
The classic fluted (tubular flowered) cosmos mix, dating back to the 1800s. Flowers come in mix of pinks, reds, magentas, whites, and creams. These cosmos are tall (3 to 4 feet or more) and bushy, so they're ideal for backgrounds or borders in your flower garden. Pollinators love them, and then birds love the seed heads. They're liable to naturalize in the right setting. Very draught tolerant once established. Prefers a sunny, but sheltered placement, in light, not too rich soil (it can handle pretty denuded soil, in fact, which is why it is often included in wildflower mixes grown on roadsides and median strips). Native to South America, Central America, and lower and western North America (Mexico and perhaps parts of the US Southwest) it has become naturalized across eastern North America as well, all the way to Ontario and Quebec. But because it mainly thrives in disturbed areas, it hasn't been demonstrated to be a threat to native plant communities, so is rarely considered an "invasive" plant. If you're looking for some striking flowers for your garden or for that vase on your table, try out these classic beauties.