Wheat or Wheatstraw Celosia
Celosia argentea var. spicata ‘Ruby Parfait’
se-LO-see-uh ar-JEN-tee-uh spi-KAH-tuh
Celosia argentea (Spicata Group) ‘Ruby Parfait’
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.
There have been a lot of name changes, and this species is one of them… Well, you know, back and forth… Apparently, the “official” name is supposed to be Celosia argentea, which is the, or was, the scientific name for “plumed” Celosia. The cockscomb Celosia were Celosia cristata and the wheat flowered plants were Celosia spicata. Well, they did this a while back, but I was reluctant to change the name. One reason I didn’t change the name right away is because the botanists keep changing names back and forth. I change names to keep updated then wind up changing the name back again because they change the names again. So, I waited.
Then, in July when I needed to do some updating, I checked Plants of the World Online by Kew and it said Celosia spicata was a synonym of Deeringia spicata. The photo they show of Deeringia spicata didn’t even look like a Celosia! I thought, “WAIT A MINUTE! Something is whacky!” I checked with The Plant List, even though it is no longer maintained and wasn’t updated since 2013, and it said both names were accepted. I did some more research and came to the conclusion that the Deeringia spicata were shrubby plants and not herbaceous plants like the Celosia spicata. Plus, as far as I could tell, not even native to the same countries… Someone is screwy! So, I sent an email to the senior content editor of Kew and he said my plant was Celosia argentea and “The “spicata” bit is just a horticultural indication, I don’t think this is a valid scientific name.” Hmmm…
Celosia spicata Spreng. was the correct and accepted name for this species of Celosia. It was first documented by Curt Polycarp Joachim Sprengel in Systema Vegetabilium in 1824. The Plant List says the scientific name is Celosia spicata Spreng., but Tropicos (Mo. Botanical Garden) says Celosia spicata (Thouars) Spreng……. Apparently, it was first named and documented as Lestibudesia spicata by Louis-Marie Aubert du Petit Thouars in Histoire des Végétaux Recueillis dans les Isles Australes d’Afrique in 1806.
There are several websites that are several websites that are using the name Celosia argentea var. spicata and that is what I am sticking with…
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…