Orange Cosmos
Cosmos sulphureus - Cavanilles
Asteraceae (Sunflower) Family

Orange Cosmos is an introduced herbaceous annual in the Sunflower family (Asteraceae). It is native to Mexico, Central America, and northern South America. In Alabama it can be found statewide. Orange Cosmos is often planted in roadside “wildflower” plantings and as an ornamental. It persists or escapes to roadsides, vacant lots, and other ruderal habitats. It is an annual with a tap root. Stems are 2-6 feet in height, green in color, glabrous or pubescent, and branched.

The leaves are opposite, petiolate, pinnately lobed, with ciliate margins.

The flowers are produced in heads. The heads are in corymbs. Each head is on a long peduncle. Each head has 8-15 orange or yellow ray flowers and 10-20 orange or yellow disc flowers.

Fruit is an awned achene; fusiform in shape, with a long beak and barbed awns. Orange Cosmos is listed as an invasive species in Tennessee.

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