Food Industry

Published on September 18th, 2010 | by Heather Carr


Celosia: Ornamental Flower or Vegetable?

You probably know Celosia as that lovely ornamental flower that shows up in fall landscapes, but did you know it’s also a vegetable?

Celosia is commonly used in the United States as landscaping or in cut flower arrangements. But in parts of Africa, India, and Indonesia, it’s well-known as a vegetable.

The leaves, young stems, and young flowers can all be eaten like field greens – boil up a mess of them with peppers – or like young amaranths, steamed and lightly seasoned.

Celosia reseeds easily and takes care of itself.  There’s a lot of potential for increasing food security globally with a plant like this.

It’s good for a kitchen garden and kids can just pull a few leaves for a snack whenever they want.

Have you ever tried eating Celosia? Do you prefer it raw or cooked?

h/t Nourishing the Planet

Image by marcusrg, used with a Creative Commons license

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About the Author

Heather Carr loves food, politics, and innovative ways to make the world a better place. She counts Jacques Pepin and Speed Racer among her inspirations. You can find her on Facebook or .

2 Responses to Celosia: Ornamental Flower or Vegetable?

  1. Wonder what it would taste like in a salad.

    • Heather Carr says:

      I’ve heard it’s mild and nutty, and it doesn’t turn bitter.

      I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m definitely planting some in my garden this fall.

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