Celosia argentea var. spicata ‘Punky Red’

Celosia argentea var. spicata ‘Punky Red’ on 8-4-12, #113-12.

Wheat Celosia,  Wheat Straw Celosia

Celosia argentea var. spicata ‘Punky Red’


Celosia argentea (Spicata Group)

se-LO-see-uh  ar-JEN-tee-uh  spi-KAH-tuh


Celosia spicata

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).

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 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.


Celosia argentea var. ‘Punky Red’ at 34″ tall in the west bed at the mansion in Mississippi on 7-2-12, #106-9.

They fizzled out in the backyard for some reason, but still did very well in the bed next to the west sunroom. They grew to almost 48″ and flowered until frost.

I thought Celosia spicata ‘Punky Red’ had been a Fleuroselect winner, but now I can’t seem to verify that.

I enjoyed growing the Celosia ‘Punky Red’ and liked their long, skinny flower spikes. Their stems were also a reddish color which was a nice contrast to their bright green leaves.

Information suggests they prefer growing in full sun, which is at least 6 hours a day. They didn’t get that much in the west bed and the ones in the full sun in the backyard fizzled out first…

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.

*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…



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