Commonly known as chocolate cosmos, the plant is cherished for its distinct velvety flowers that boast a rich maroon or deep burgundy hue, reminiscent of dark chocolate. The blooms are daisy-like with a central disk surrounded by a ring of delicate ray petals, which may suggest a gentle flaring skirt. The petals have a subtly ruffled edge that adds to their charm, enhancing the plant's ornamental appeal. The chocolate cosmos emits a delightful fragrance that is similar to that of chocolate or vanilla, adding a sensorial experience to its visual beauty. This enchanting aroma is more pronounced during warm days and can often attract pollinators to the garden. The leaves of chocolate cosmos are narrow, elongated, and vibrant green in color, which creates a striking contrast to the dark tones of the flowers. The foliage is feather-like and arranged in a neat, lanceolate manner on the stems. These stems grow upward and are slender, providing a delicate framework that offsets the richness of the flowers. Taken together, the vivid blooms and lush foliage of chocolate cosmos make it a captivating addition to any space that enjoys flowers with deep colors and a unique, chocolate-like scent.
About this plant
Chocolate Cosmos, Black Cosmos.
Cosmos diversifolius, Bidens atrosanguineus.
Chocolate cosmos, the common name for Cosmos atrosanguineus, is not widely known for being toxic to humans. However, like any plant, individual allergies or sensitivities could lead to adverse reactions in some people. Contact with the plant may cause skin irritation in sensitive individuals. Ingestion is not advised, as plants not typically consumed as food might cause stomach upset or other digestive issues, but there is no well-documented evidence of serious toxicity or poisoning from consuming chocolate cosmos.
Chocolate cosmos is not specifically listed as toxic to pets, such as dogs and cats. However, it's important to note that ingestion of any non-food plant can potentially cause mild stomach upset, vomiting, or diarrhea in pets due to the novelty and irritation to the gastrointestinal tract. If your pet ingests chocolate cosmos and you observe any signs of distress or unusual behavior, consult your veterinarian. It is always best to keep an eye on your pet and prevent them from eating ornamental plants.
Color of leaves
2 feet (60 cm)
1 foot (30 cm)
- General Benefits
- Attracts pollinators: Cosmos atrosanguineus, commonly known as Chocolate Cosmos, lures bees and butterflies, enhancing pollination in the garden.
- Aesthetic appeal: With its velvety maroon to brown flowers and chocolate scent, it adds a unique sensory experience and visual beauty to landscapes and gardens.
- Easy to grow: It is known for being low-maintenance and easy to cultivate, even for beginner gardeners.
- Drought tolerance: Once established, Chocolate Cosmos can tolerate periods of drought, making it suitable for xeriscaping or water-wise gardens.
- Long blooming season: It flowers from mid-summer to autumn, offering long-lasting color and interest in the garden or container plantings.
- Cut flower use: The blossoms of Chocolate Cosmos make excellent cut flowers for bouquets and arrangements due to their appealing scent and longevity.
- Non-invasive: It does not spread aggressively, ensuring that it won't overrun garden spaces and will coexist well with other plants.
- Medical Properties
This plant is not used for medical purposes.
- Air-purifying Qualities
This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.
- Other Uses
- Cosmos atrosanguineus, commonly known as the Chocolate Cosmos, can be used in the production of natural dyes due to its pigmented petals.
- As an educational tool, Chocolate Cosmos can be included in school gardens for lessons on plant biology and pollination.
- In perfumery, the Chocolate Cosmos is occasionally used for its vanilla and chocolate-like fragrance to create unique scents.
- Chocolate Cosmos may be utilized in artistic arrangements for photography or painting due to its deep burgundy color.
- In the culinary field, the petals of Chocolate Cosmos can be used as a decorative, non-toxic garnish for desserts and special dishes.
- In landscaping, Chocolate Cosmos is valued for its ability to add dramatic contrast in flower beds and borders with its dark flowers.
- During social events or ceremonies like weddings, Chocolate Cosmos can be featured for its aesthetic appeal and delightful scent.
- In crafting, dried Chocolate Cosmos flowers can be used to embellish scrapbooks or homemade greeting cards.
- Chocolate Cosmos can act as a natural pest repellent in gardens, potentially deterring certain insects with its scent.
- As a component in potpourri, the petals of Chocolate Cosmos are valued for their long-lasting fragrance and rich color.
- Feng Shui
The Chocolate Cosmos is not used in Feng Shui practice.
- Zodiac Sign Compitability
The Chocolate Cosmos is not used in astrology practice.
- Plant Symbolism
- Love and Affection: The deep red to chocolate color of Cosmos atrosanguineus, commonly known as the Chocolate Cosmos, is often associated with deep love and strong affection, drawing connections to the heart and passion.
- Balance and Harmony: The symmetrical shape of the flowers is thought to symbolize the cosmos or universe, representing order, unity, and a well-balanced existence within its vastness.
- Modesty: Despite its vibrant color and tantalizing scent, the Chocolate Cosmos is a relatively simple and unassuming flower, which can symbolize modesty and humility.
- Peaceful Mind: The serene appearance of the flower and its harmonious growth can encourage a sense of calm and peacefulness in one's mind.
For the Chocolate Cosmos, regular watering is crucial, especially during dry spells, to keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Aim to water deeply once a week with approximately 1 to 2 gallons, depending on the weather conditions and soil drainage. During particularly hot periods, you may need to increase the frequency to twice a week, ensuring the soil remains evenly moist several inches below the surface. Always check the top inch of soil for dryness before watering and adjust your routine based on rainfall and temperature changes to avoid overwatering.
Chocolate Cosmos thrives best in full sun to light shade. It prefers a spot that receives at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight per day. While the plant can tolerate some light shade, too much shade can lead to leggy stems and fewer blooms. Position the Chocolate Cosmos in an area where it will receive ample sunlight throughout the day for optimal growth and flowering.
The ideal temperature range for Chocolate Cosmos is between 60°F and 90°F, with nighttime temperatures not dipping below 50°F. These plants can tolerate a maximum temperature of about 100°F and a minimum temperature of roughly 40°F; however, they may not survive frost or freezing conditions without proper protection. For continuous flowering, maintain conditions within the ideal temperature range as much as possible.
Pruning Chocolate Cosmos is essential to encourage bushier growth and more prolific blooming. Deadhead spent flowers regularly to promote continuous blooms throughout the season. Perform a more thorough pruning in the early spring or late winter, cutting back the stems to about one-third of their previous height. This is also the best time to divide clumps if necessary to maintain plant vigor.
Chocolate Cosmos thrive in well-draining soil with a pH of around 6.0 to 7.0. A mix of garden soil, peat moss, and perlite or sand is ideal to ensure proper drainage and aeration. The soil should be fertile and moderately rich, so incorporate compost or a balanced slow-release fertilizer into the mix to support healthy growth.
Chocolate Cosmos should be repotted every 2 to 3 years or when the plant shows signs of becoming root-bound. Choose a slightly larger pot to allow for growth, and refresh the soil mix to replenish nutrients and improve soil structure.
- Humidity & Misting
Chocolate Cosmos prefer moderate humidity levels but are tolerant of a range of conditions. They do well in average garden environments without the need for specific humidity adjustments.
- Suitable locations
Grow Chocolate Cosmos in bright, indirect light and well-draining soil.
Plant in full sun, well-drained soil, and space 12 inches apart.
- Life cycle
Cosmos atrosanguineus, commonly known as Chocolate Cosmos, begins its life cycle when a seed germinates in warm soil after the danger of frost has passed. The plant then develops a root system and a rosette of leaves at the soil surface; soon after, a stem elongates with additional leaves and buds. The buds bloom into maroon to almost black flowers with a rich chocolate scent throughout the summer to autumn months. After flowering, the plant sets seeds, although cultivated varieties often have sterile seeds and are propagated through tuberous roots. As temperatures cool, the aerial parts of the plant die back, and the tuberous roots enter a dormancy period through the winter. In the spring, new growth resumes from the tubers, starting the cycle anew.
Propogation: Cosmos atrosanguineus, commonly known as Chocolate Cosmos, is often propagated by division, which is a popular and straightforward method. Division should ideally take place in the spring, just as the plant is emerging from dormancy and beginning to show new growth. To propagate Chocolate Cosmos by division, carefully lift the plant from the soil, ensuring that you keep a good amount of root attached to each section. Use a sharp knife or spade to divide the clump into smaller pieces, each with at least one shoot and a portion of the root system. Replant the divisions at the same depth they were originally growing at, water them well, and maintain moisture until new growth indicates that the division has been successful. This method allows for rapid increase of stock and helps rejuvenate older clumps that may be flowering less prolifically.