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Weird and Wonderful Wednesday – The Chocolate Cosmos


It sounds like a delicious piece of cake and smells of vanilla but the Chocolate Cosmos (Cosmos atrosanguineus), which is native to Mexico, is completely extinct in the wild and has been for over a hundred years. The current plants that do exist are all non-fertile clones created by vegetative propagation of a single plant that dates back to 1902. To create new plants a cutting needs to be taken from the root or the stem and transplanted to a new pot and treated with a special hormone liquid to trigger new growth. This technique is great as it allows for wonderful plants like this to survive even though they are extinct in the wild but it does however have one major downside. Since these plants are all genetic clones if a disease or fungus was to come along that the cosmos was susceptible to it would have the potential to wipe out the species! Fortunately this hasn’t happened and with its dusty brown flowers and enticing smells it’s a fashionable late summer bloomer in sunny / warm climates that definitely turns heads.

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