Cosmos bipinnatus 'Xanthos' is a totally new cosmos that's causing rather a stir in horticultural circles. ‘Xanthos’ adds a completely new colour to the Cosmos range. Unique soft-yellow blooms are produced in profusion on compact dwarf plants, bringing real impact to the garden.
Introduced for the 2016 season, it has already been granted one of the most prestigious horticultural awards, a Fleuroselect Gold Medal. This prestigious award symbolises a genuine improvement in breeding. The jury was unanimous that the achievement in introducing a soft yellow into this compact Cosmos is truly exceptional. Cosmos bipinnatus Xanthos is an absolute breakthrough in breeding and an absolutely outstanding 2016 Gold Medal winner.
Cosmos bipinnatus, commonly called the garden Cosmos or Mexican aster, is a medium-sized flowering herbaceous plant native to Mexico. The species and its varieties and cultivars are popular as an easy to grow ornamental plant in temperate climate gardens. ‘Xanthos’ means yellow in Greek and that’s what this new Cosmos is all about. It is a unique, soft, stunning yellow colour.
Cosmos ‘Xanthos’ is dwarf, early flowering and uniform. The plants are ideally suited for the patio and terrace, while in the border, it is a true eye catcher. This early flowering cosmos will start to bloom in as little as 70 days from sowing, going on to offer to six months of colour from May to October - keep on top of the deadheading and new flowers will just keep coming.
The plants grow to a height of 60cm (24in) tall and with a spread of 40cm (16in), these compact cosmos plants are the perfect option for exposed gardens where taller varieties would be blown about by the wind. Use the blooms en masse for an elegant feel to your displays, if not, set them in combination with other annuals to complement pastel shades or calm hot colours.
With all eyes on these easy to grow summer performers, Cosmos lovers will simply adore this new soft yellow colour and its outstanding garden performance.
Sowing: Sow indoors March to April, or sow outdoors April to May
Sow indoors in early spring 3 to 4 weeks before planting outside, alternatively, the seed can also be sown directly where they are to flower in mid to late spring. They will take approx 70 days from sowing to flowering. Keep soil moderately moist during germination. Plant out three weeks after sowing at a 25cm (10in) on a sunny or half sunny spot.
Use well drained soil and cover to a depth of 3mm (1/8in). When large enough to handle, transplant the seedlings into small pots to grow on. Acclimatise to outdoor conditions for 10 to 15 days before planting out after all risk of frost 15cm (6in) apart.
Prepare the ground well and rake to a fine tilth. If sowing more than one annual in the same bed, mark the sowing areas with a ring of sand and label. Sow 1mm (1/18th in) deep in rows 30cm (12in) apart.
Sow seed sparingly or they will choke out other seedlings.
The seedlings will appear in rows approx 6 to 8 weeks after planting and can be easily told from nearby weed seedlings. Thin the seedlings out so they are finally 25cm (10in) apart. Carefully replant thinned plants.
When the seedlings have three pairs of leaves, pinch out the tips, leaving at least one pair of leaves.
Only water in an extended drought and do not apply large doses of fertiliser as flowering will be suppressed.
Stake the taller varieties with a single or tripod of canes and some twine. Cosmos foliage is finely-cut into threadlike segments. When flowering, the taller varieties may become top heavy. This problem is alleviated when grown in groups, as the bi-pinnate leaves interlock, and the colony supports itself.
Deadhead to prolong flowering and encourage new flower buds. At the season's end, don't be too quick to pull up withering cosmos plants. Birds (particularly gold finches) love to snack on their seedheads in autumn, and the seeds that they miss may drop to the ground and reward you the next year by sprouting into a whole new crop.
Cosmos is a cut-and-come-again bloomer, meaning that the sooner you cut the blooms, the quicker new buds will pop up to replace them. The blooms appear so profusely that you'll still have plenty of colour in the garden after you've picked your flowers.
If you sear the stem end in boiling water for twenty seconds they will last a week in water.
Cottage/Informal Gardens, Flowers Borders and Beds. Container Planting.
Cosmos have been reassuring gardeners ever since the 1930s, when breeders first coaxed cosmos to bloom earlier than the native Mexican species, the flower-growing public has been hooked.
Like many of our warm weather annuals such as marigolds, Cosmos originated in Mexico and South America. Spanish priests grew cosmos in their mission gardens in Mexico. The evenly placed petals led them to christen the flower "Cosmos," derived from the Greek kosmos, the word for harmony or ordered, or balanced universe. From this we also get the common name of "The Mexican Aster".
The species name is from the Latin bipinnatus meaning “twice-pinnate” The botanical epithet is from the Latin pinnatus meaning “with leaflets arranged in opposite pairs.
The variety name ‘Xanthos’ refers to the colour yellow in Greek
Fleuroselect is the international organisation for the ornamental plants industry. Its main activities include the testing, protecting and promoting of new flower varieties. Membership includes breeders, producers and distributors of ornamental varieties. Fleuroselect is run by the members, for the members. A small secretariat operates from the organisational headquarters currently based in Noordwijk, The Netherlands.
In order to support and stimulate the development of new ornamental varieties, Fleuroselect conducts trials of new varieties entered by members on approximately 20 private trial grounds spread across Europe. Both indoor and outdoor trials can be conducted. Through the trials, the newness, the practical use, the quality and the exclusivity of the entries are determined. Genuinely new varieties receive recognition either as Fleuroselect Novelties or Gold Medal winners.
The Fleuroselect Gold Medal is awarded to innovative varieties that clearly surpass the limits in breeding and beauty. This symbolises excellence in breeding. Many awarded varieties are widely supported and distributed by Fleuroselect members. The organisation also promotes the winners by way of press releases and displays at trade fairs and in gardens all over the world. Professional growers and hobby gardeners all over the world recognise the Fleuroselect awards as certificates of exceptional merit.
- Additional Information
Average Seed Count 30 Seeds Family Asteraceae Genus Cosmea, Cosmos Species bipinnatus Cultivar Xanthos Synonym Cosmea bipinnata Common Name The Mexican Aster Hardiness Half Hardy Annual Flowers Soft-yellow bloom Natural Flower Time May to August Height 60cm (24in) Spread 40cm (16in) Position Needs full sun to flourish Soil Lean, well drained, sandy soils. Time to Sow Sow indoors March to April, or sow outdoors April to May Germination 7 to 10 days at 20-30*C (68-86*F)