Cosmos Bipinnatus: A Escaped Flower

by Christine Breen

Capturing the Cosmos from Iris’s sketchbook

Cosmos Bipinnatus, known as the garden Cosmos, or Mexican aster, is also referred to, rather unflatteringly, as an escaped flower. In North America, a weed? Funny that. Or not. In the west of Ireland it is cherished for its long-stemmed daisy-like flowers in cerise, mauve, baby-girl pink, and white.

Priests in Mexico grew Cosmos in their gardens and named it accordingly for the Greek word for Universe, aka Cosmos.  Grown from seed in a glasshouse in Ireland the variety known as ‘Sensation’ is to die for. It fills the hungry gap with its height and feathery leaves and its robust petals like an open upturned hand.