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Cosmos bipinnatus Cav.

Family Name: Asteraceae (Compositae)
Synonyms: Cosmos formosa, Cosmos hybridus, Bidens formosa (Bonato) Sch.Bip., Cosmos tenuifolia Lindl.
Common Name: Cosmos, Garden Cosmos, Mexican aster, 秋英
Full Sun: 6-8h Moderate Water Butterfly Food Plant Fruit & Vegetable Ornamental Flowers Annual Woody Herbaceous


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Shrub (Herbaceous)
Lifespan (in Singapore) Annual
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Maximum Height 1.5 m


Native Distribution Mexico
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Exotic

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Herbaceous plant that is mostly glabrate, sometimes hispid, growing to about 0.3–1.3 m. 
Foliage Green sessile leaves are opposite and pinnatisect. Leaf blade is 6–11 cm long and 3–5 cm wide, while leaf margin is entire and apex is acute. 
Stems Stems are mostly glabrous, sometimes minutely hairy and terete. 
Flowers Flowers are compound, radiate and showy. Ray corollas display flower colour polymorphism, having numerous purple, pink or white rays (25–40 mm long) with yellow center (6–7 mm long). Capitula, 3–6 cm in diameter, is solitary or in few aggregate of flower heads. Peduncles are 10–20 cm long. Calycular bracts are linear to lanceolate 6–13 mm and apex is acuminate. Involucre bracts are 7–15 mm in diameter. 
Fruits Narrowly cylindrical-fusiform achenes (7–16 mm) are smooth and glabrous with a beak at the apex. Presence of 1 to 3 stout erect awns about 1–3 mm long. 
Ethnobotanical Uses Edible Plant Parts (Edible Leaves, Edible Stems)
Food (Fruit & Vegetable : Young shoots are edible.)

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils, Fertile Loamy Soils
Landscape Uses Parks & Gardens, Small Gardens, Flowerbed / Border

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Butterfly Food Plant
Pollination Method(s) Biotic (Fauna) (Insects (Butterfly, Moth), Insects (Bee), Insects (Ant, Beetle, Fly, Thrip, Wasp))

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Maintenance Requirements Low
Pruning Pinch back the leading shoots to induce more bushy growth. 
Propagation Method Seed


Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Opposite
Foliar Attachment to Stem Petiolate
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Linear)
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Acute
Foliar Base Acute

Non - Foliar and Storage

Root Type Underground

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) White, Purple, Pink
Flower Texture(s) Wrinkled
Flower Location Terminal
Flower Symmetry Radial
Individual Flower Shape Saucer-shaped
Inflorescence Type Compound Head / Capitulum
Flowering Habit Polycarpic


References Polunin, Ivan. 2010. Plants and Flowers of Singapore. Malaysia: Marshall Cavendish Editions .

Image Repository



Master ID 29374
Species ID 3683
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 14 October 2021.