Whoever thought up the name Cocks Comb for the lovely Celosia, can smile because there is now a variety which does the common name proud. The newest Cocks Comb is a magnificent cut flower called Bombay Purple, the name portraying the exotic character and the unusual colour. In the trials held by Fleuroselect, the international organisation of flower breeders, Bombay Purple was awarded the Gold Medal for a beautiful and uniform Celosia, with major advantages for the grower, i.e. the short growing period and the large yield per m².
The annual, Celosia belongs to the Amaranthaceae family which originates in Africa explaining its preference for light and warmth. The Celosia (Cristata Group) is characterised by the cock comb like growth from the flower spike producing a flattened flower form. This is in contrast to the C. plumosa which forms a crest. The long-stemmed Cristata is exceptionally suitable for professional growers. The exotic form and colours are a challenge for any florist or flower arranger. A Gold Medal was awarded to Bombay Purple in the trials carried out by Fleuroselect, the international organisation of flower breeders, for its beauty, uniformity and productivity. It performed better than any existing variety. It has striking flattish flowers which are almost geometrically triangular. The flowers are a reddish purple colour and although fading somewhat, the colour remains after drying. This makes `Bombay Purple' a real acquisition in the cut flower assortment. It can reach into modern and exotic lifestyle cultures where its colour and form will harmonise distinctively. Its uniformity and productivity make Bombay Purple especially suitable for professional flower cultivation under glass. The culture is not simple, but certainly viable for the right professional. Celosia argentea cristata or the Cocks Comb will never undergo mass production, but will stay an exclusive product, cultivated for distinction. Just as the cock raises its comb to show off, so the Cocks Comb Bombay Purple is showing off against the established cut flower varieties, daring the industry out to use varieties which suit artistic and fashion-conscious lifestyles. Flower growers and florists show good professionalism and sound economic insight with their choice of Bombay Purple.