Cosmos bipinnatus Cav.  
Family: Asteraceae
garden cosmos,  more...
[Bidens formosa ,  more]
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Plants 30-200 cm, glabrous or sparsely puberulent, sometimes scabridulous. Leaves: petioles 0 or to 1 cm; blades 6-11 cm, ultimate lobes to 1.5 mm wide, margins entire, apices acute (indurate). Peduncles 10-20 cm. Calyculi of spreading, linear to lanceolate bractlets 6-13 mm, apices acuminate. Involucres 7-15 mm diam. Phyllaries erect, lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate, 7-13 mm, apices round or obtuse. Ray corollas white, pink, or purplish, laminae obovate to oblanceolate, 15-50 mm, apices ± truncate, dentate. Disc corollas 5-7 mm. Cypselae 7-16 mm, glabrous, papillose; pappi 0, or of 2-3 ascending to erect awns 1-3 mm. 2n = 24. Flowering summer-fall. Disturbed sites, roadsides; 0-1000 m; Ont., Que.; Ala., Ariz., Ark., Calif., Colo., Conn., Del., Fla., Ga., Ill., Kans., Ky., La., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Mo., N.H., N.J., N.Mex., N.Y., N.C., Ohio, Okla., Pa., R.I., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Utah, Va., W.Va., Wis., Wyo.; Mexico; introduced in West Indies, Central America, South America, Asia. Cosmos bipinnatus is native to Mexico and the southwestern United States. A garden favorite, it has escaped and naturalized widely elsewhere in the flora area (and in warm climates almost worldwide), and it has been seeded along roadsides by some highway departments. Many cultivated races and hybrids differ considerably from the wild type described above, varying widely in stature and in coloration of both ray and disc corollas. Some plants in cultivation lack pappi; they are referable to var. exaristatus de Candolle, not treated formally here.

Plant: Annual, glabrous or puberulent; stems generally erect, 3-20 dm Leaves: sessile or short-petioled; blade 6-11 cm, 1-2 X divided into linear segments < or = 1.5 mm wide INFLORESCENCE: primary inflorescence a head, each resembling a flower; heads radiate, 1-few in cymes; peduncles 1-2 dm; involucre 7-15 mm diam; outer phyllaries generally 8, 9-13 mm, lanceolate; inner phyllaries ovate-lanceolate Flowers: Ray flowers generally ± 8; ligules 1-3 cm, white to pink or purple; Disk flowers: many; corollas 5-7 mm, yellow; style tips thickened, acute Fruit: 7-16 mm, black, ± cylindric, generally 4-angled, often beaked or much narrowed toward tip; pappus awns 0-3, 1-1.5 mm Misc: Disturbed places; < 1000 m.
Annual 6-20 dm, glabrous or minutely scabrous; lvs sessile or short-petiolate, 6-11 cm, pinnately dissected, the ultimate segments linear or linear-filiform, ca 1 mm wide or less; heads rather numerous, the disk 1-1.5 cm wide; rays ca 8, rose or lilac (white), 1.5-4 cm, often half as wide; achenes 7-16 mm, the body longer than the beak; pappus of 2 or 3 short awns, or none; 2n=24. Native of Mex. and adj. U.S., commonly cult. and casually escaped. Aug.-Oct.

Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.

©The New York Botanical Garden. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Miroslav Deml  
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Steve Hurst  
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