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Candlestick plant, nemesia and celosia

by Janet Carson | October 3, 2021 at 5:02 p.m.

I started the week off with a mixed bouquet from our St. Joseph's Lettuce Grow event from last week. The brain-like red and yellow blooms are crested celosia, while the small spikes of pinkish red flowers are another variety of celosia. Commonly called cockscomb, the annual flowers have a wide range of colors to choose from, but also three main flower types--crested,


or spiked.

They last a long time as a cut flower and can also be easily dried. They grow easily from seed or transplants, and are a great summer annual for full sun. Older varieties often can reseed themselves. Thrown into the bouquet are some spikes of rosemary and a few bloom spikes of garlic chives. Simple, but beautiful.

Candlestick plant or candlestick tree

is an annual plant that can grow 6-8 feet tall in one season. At the end of summer, it is supposed to produce large, yellow spikes of flowers.

Latin name can vary from Senna alata or Cassia alata--both the same plant. I don't have room for this large plant in the front garden, so I planted one in a large container on the deck--which gets full sun. The plant has grown 6 feet tall, and every time I think a flower bud is forming, more leaves open.

Somewhat disappointing. I have had other gardeners whose plants are loaded this year. Oh well, you win some, you lose some!


is another annual plant, this one native to South Africa. It is related to snapdragons, and like snapdragons, grows better in cooler, milder conditions.

It would be an interesting plant for us in the spring or fall through early winter. In a mild winter, it might overwinter, but don't count on it. While most varieties would struggle in the south during the summer, they are working on more heat tolerant varieties.


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