Wheat or Wheatstraw Celosia
Celosia argentea var. spicata ‘Ruby Parfait’
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Celosia argentea (Spicata Group) ‘Ruby Parfait’
Celosia argentea L. is the correct and accepted scientific name of this species of Celosia. The genus and species were named and described as such by Carl von Linnaeus in the first edition of Species Plantarum in 1753.
Celosia argentea var. spicata is not an “official” variety name listed in any database I have found. The name “spicata” is used to signify the type of flower of the “wheat-type” flowers of Celosia argentea. Some of the earliest photos submitted for Celosia argentea ID were of the wheat-type. (If you check with Tropicos and click on images).
For many years, the name Celosia spicata was used for this plant. I vented quite a lot about the name change from using Celosia spicata to Celosia argentea but found the error of my thinking. In the beginning, a plant found in Madagascar was named Lestibudesia spicata by Louis-Marie Aubert de Petit-Thouars in 1806. The name was later changed to Celosia spicata by Curt Polycarp Joachim Sprengel in 1824. However, that was NOT of a herbaceous plant as we know Celosia to be, but of a shrub. The plant named Celosia spicata is now a synonym of Deeringia spicata (Thouars) Schinz (1934).
Although Celosia argentea var. spicata is NOT an “official” or “accepted” variety name, I choose to use it to to signify the difference between the flowers of other Celosia argentea flower types (cristata and plumed type). Many other websites do the same.
The true origin of Celosia argentea is unknown as it has been found growing in many parts of the world.
I bought my Celosia ‘Ruby Parfait’ seeds from Johnny’s Selected Seeds in the spring of 2012. I really liked these and saved seeds. They grew to about 3 feet tall by the end of the season and flowered right until the end. The butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees really love them. They are a great summer performer and don’t mind the heat at all.
The description of the Celosia spicata ‘Ruby Parfait’ said they have “arrow-shaped” spikes that grow 2-3″ long.
They perform best in full sun where they grow anywhere from 2-3 feet in height. Their flowers are a vivid reddish pink that fade toward the bottom of the spike as they grow longer.
I know the above photo isn’t that good. I had to borrow a friend’s camera for a while and I didn’t realize the setting wasn’t right. Anyway, you can tell clearly after several months, the “arrow-shaped” description of the flowers does not apply. They grow longer, up to 6+ inches and the spikes are loaded with hundreds of flowers.
I saved seeds from the Celosia ‘Ruby Parfait’ in 2012 so I could plant them in Missouri in 2013, but as I mentioned in the Celosia argentea var. spicata ‘Cramer’s Amazon’ page, they cross-pollinated. SO, when the seeds came up, the seedlings had bi-color leaves… BUT, just look at those flowers!!!
When I planted seeds in 2014, I used seeds I knew were pure. I didn’t take any photos of them after this photo. They did very well but I didn’t save any seeds. SO, someday I will have to buy again.
I really liked the Celosia spicata ‘Ruby Parfait’ for their garden performance and bright flower color.
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.
There isn’t much online about the Celosia argentea var. spicata ‘Ruby Parfait’, so if you have grown this plant, I would appreciate your comments…
*The Wikipedia pages for Celosia is not up to date as far as the list of species is concerned… The species page is for Celosia argentea, which is also not up-to-snuff… Still using The Plant List as a reference even though this page was updated in February 2018…