Celosia argentea ‘Heirloom Giant Burgundy’ (Cristata Group)

Celosia argentea 'Heirloom Giant Burgundy' starting to flower on 6-9-23, #98-8.

Celosia argentea (syn. var. cristata) ‘Heirloom Giant Burgundy’ starting to flower on 6-9-23, #98-8.

‘Heirloom Giant Burgundy’ Cockscomb

Celosia argentea


Celosia argentea var. cristata

Celosia cristata

se-LO-see-uh ar-JEN-tee-uh kris-TAY-tuh

Synonyms of Celosia argentea (40) (Updated on 11-8-22): Amaranthus cristatus (L.) Noronha (1790), Amaranthus huttonii H.J.Veitch (1872), Amaranthus purpureus Dodoens ex Nieuwl. (1914), Amaranthus pyramidalis Noronha (1790), Celosia argentea var. cristata (L.) Kuntze (1891), Celosia argentea f. cristata (L.) Schinz (1934), Celosia argentea var. linearis E.Vilm. (1866), Celosia argentea var. margaritacea (L.) Iamonico (2013), Celosia argentea var. mumbaiana M.R.Almeida (2003), Celosia argentea var. plumosa (Barr & Sugden) Bakh.f. (unknown publication), Celosia argentea var. vera Kuntze (1891), *Celosia aurea J.Dix (1860), *Celosia aurea T.Moore (1861), Celosia castrensis L. (1762), Celosia cernua Roxb. (1820), Celosia cernua Andrews (1811), Celosia coccinea L. (1762), Celosia comosa Retz. (1791), Celosia cristata L. (1753), Celosia cristata var. castrensis (L.) Iamonico (2013), Celosia cristata var. humilis Hassk. (1842), Celosia debilis S.Moore (1916), Celosia huttonii Mast. (1872), Celosia japonica Houtt. (1777), Celosia japonica Mart. (1814), Celosia linearis Sweet ex Hook.f.(1885), Celosia margaritacea L.(1762), Celosia marylandica Retz. (1783), Celosia pallida Salisb. (1796), Celosia plumosa Barr & Sugden (1866), Celosia purpurea J.St.-Hil. (1808), Celosia pyramidalis Burm.f. (1768), Celosia spicata Barr & Sugden (1866) (nom. illeg.), Celosia splendens Schumach. & Thonn. (1827), Celosia stricta Hornem. (1819), Celosia swinhoei Hemsl. (1891), Chamissoa margaritacea (L.) Schouw (1847), Chamissoa stricta (Hornem.) Schouw (1847), Lophoxera comosa (Retz.) Raf. (1837), Lophoxera racemosa Raf. (1837). *POWO replaced Celosa aurea T.Moore (1861) with Celosia aurea J.Dix (1860). Most other databases still say Celosia aurea T.Moore so I have included both which makes 40 rather than 39 synonyms as shown on POWO. The editor of POWO said they found an earlier publication. The International Plant Names Index (IPNI) does not include Celosia aurea J.Dix as of 11-7-22 when this page was updated. I’m sure they will have it soon.

Celosia argentea are great plants and come in several shapes and sizes. Many cultivars are available to fit your needs and are easy to grow from seed.

As you see from the above list, there is a long list of synonyms for Celosia argentea. You will notice they are offered online (and catalogs) as Celosia argentea, Celosia argentea var. spicata, Celosia argentea var. cristata, Celosia spicata, Celosia cristata, etc. At the moment Celosia argentea is the accepted scientific and the other names are synonyms. It doesn’t particularly matter what growers call their plants as long as you get what you are looking for.

Celosia argentea L. is the accepted scientific name for the Cockscomb. The genus and species were both named and described as such by Carl von Linnaeus in the first edition of Species Plantarum in 1753.

Celosia cristata L., now a synonym, was also named and described as such by Carl von Linnaeus in the same edition of Species Plantarum in 1753.

Also a synonym, Celosia argentea var. cristata (L.) Kuntze was first named and described as such by Carl Ernst Otto Kuntze in Revisio Generum Plantarum in 1891. It is also considered a synonym but I use the name anyway because it is the variety of Celosia argentea, currently accepted or not. That is OK since the name was validly published… 

As of 11-8-22 when this page was last updated, Plants of the World Oline by Kew lists 46 species in the Celosia genus. It is a member of the plant family Amaranthaceae with 183 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made on POWO.


Celosia argentea 'Heirloom Giant Burgundy' on 7-1-12, #104-7.

Celosia argentea (syn. var. cristata)Heirloom Giant Burgundy’ on 7-1-12, #104-7.

I ordered seeds of the Celosia ‘Heirloom Giant Burgundy’ from Heirloom Acres in the spring of 2013. They are an old variety passed on to the owner by his aunt or mother. They grow easily to 3′ and have nice cockscomb that are a velvety reddish maroon of medium size. They produce a lot of side shoots, too. Now, truthfully, the flowers didn’t get as large as their catalog said they would. Not saying that theirs don’t, just that mine didn’t. I would plant them again, but Heirloom Acres seems to have gone out of business, or at least they aren’t online… Too many complaints of people not getting their orders (I was one of them in 2013). I should have saved seeds!!!

Some of the flowers were a little strange...

Some of the flowers were a little strange…


Celosia argentea 'Heirloom Giant Burgundy' in the west bed along the sunroom on 7-2-12, # 106-8.

Celosia argentea (syn. var. cristata) ‘Heirloom Giant Burgundy’ in the west bed along the sunroom on 7-2-12, # 106-8.

The seeds came up really well so I had plenty to transplant in two beds in the backyard and in the bed along the west sunroom at the mansion.  I was standing next to the wall when the above photo was taken. The plant to the left is a Red Abyssinian Banana (Ensete ventricosum ‘Maurelii’). The Celosia in the front of the bed is Celosia argentea var. spicata ‘Punky Red’. The purple plants are Purple Heart (Tradescantia pallida). The plant overhead is Colocasia esculenta.

Celosia argentea 'Heirloom Giant Burgundy' on 7-19-12, #111-5.

Celosia argentea (syn. var. cristata)Heirloom Giant Burgundy’ on 7-19-12, #111-5.

I really enjoyed growing this variety and hope to find seeds of them again. The true name of this variety may not be ‘Heirloom Giant Burgundy’ and probably no one even knows. I give plants names when I don’t know what their real name is, too. I name them after who I got them from or where I found them.

I always like growing taller plants for some reason even though they may require staking. There are many shorter Celosia argentea cultivars with large heads but I don’t care for them… So, if you have seed of taller Cockscomb, I would be interested…

Celosia seed are fairly easy to germinate once you get the hang of it. They also self-sow. If you plant them inside, don’t cover the seed. You can press them into the soil a little if you want and water with a mister until they germinate. If you sow outside, you can cover with just a tiny about of soil. After all, you must remember, that Celosia self-sow and in nature, the seed lays on top of the ground and some get covered with leaves and soil as it snows and rains. Here in mid-Missouri, they have no problem germinating on their own.

I hope you enjoyed this page and maybe found it useful. If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on “like” if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading. The links take you directly to the genus and species of this plant. If you notice I made an error, please let me know.


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