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Cock's-Comb

COCK'S-COMB, in botany, a cultivated form of Celosia cristata (natural order Amarantaceae), in which the inflorescence is monstrous, forming a flat "fasciated" axis bearing numerous small flowers. The plant is a low-growing herbaceous annual, bearing a large, comb-like, dark red, scarlet or purplish mass of flowers. Seeds are sown in March or April in pans of rich, well-drained sandy soil, which are placed in a hot-bed at 65° to 70° in a moist atmosphere. The seedlings require plenty of light, and when large enough to handle are potted off and placed close to the glass in a frame under similar conditions. When the heads show they are shifted into 5-in. pots, which are plunged to their rims in ashes or coco-nut fibre refuse, in a hot-bed, as before, close to the glass; they are sparingly watered and more air admitted. The soil recommended is a half-rich sandy loam and half-rotten cow and stable manure mixed with a dash of silver sand. The other species of Celosia cultivated are C. pyramidalis, with a pyramidal inflorescence, varying in colour in the great number of varieties, and C. argentea, with a dense white inflorescence. They require a similar cultural treatment to that given for C. cristata.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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