Cosmos Flowers with Their Daisy-like Appearance

White cosmos flower against soft focus foliage background.

In the heat of late summer, Cosmos flowers appear to thrive. With their daisy-like blooms and bright yellow centers, they are such happy looking flowers. By my wandering observations, they thrive in the community gardens I like to frequent and keep company with California Poppies and Bachelor’s Buttons. They are also commonly found growing among home gardens and office park landscaping too. That last one was a new and unlikely discovery!

Coming in shades of pinks – from pale to a deep burgundy color and magenta. Others are white and some are two toned. The white ones with flower petals trimmed with pink edges are my favorite to photograph. The contrast of white and pink plus the bright yellow center is beautiful.

White Cosmos with magenta trimmed flower petals.
Cosmos flower with magenta pink trimmed petals.

The flowers sit atop long, slender stems with “bushy asparagus-like green foliage”. A woman I once knew complained that these flowers grew “too-leggy” as she put it – whatever?

But it’s this long-stemmed factor combined with their feathery, green foliage that makes them fun to photograph.

When these elements come together, the flowers can appear like they are floating among the blurred foliage background.

A blue sky on a summer morning like in the photo to the right makes things even better!

When Cosmos Flowers Bloom

Cosmos are actually part of the sunflower family. As such around here, Cosmos usually starts blooming in early summer – but I tend to not see them till later in the summer and will bloom through fall. Producing multiple flowering stems near the top of the plant, these flowers reach up to meet the morning sun. When photographing them at certain angles, the flower petals can appear almost translucent.

Cosmos are technically annuals, however, given the opportunity they will self-sow. They can form dense patches in flower beds where they will come back year after year. This likely explains why I’ve seen patches in the same spots for several years now.

Their flower-heads are generally bowl or open-cup-shaped with scalloped edges. Cosmos can tolerate warm, dry weather very well. They are even drought-tolerant – which makes them perfect for around here as well as while I was living in Santa Fe, NM.

Pink and white cosmos flower.
Magenta pink cosmos flowers.

Attracting Beneficial Bees

It should come as no surprise that these flowers attract various pollinators. I’ve read they attract butterflies – but sadly there seem to be so few of those flying about these days I’ve yet to see one on a Cosmos flower. Bees on the other hand are on them in droves! Yay!! Honey bees keep busy flying and gathering pollen from flower to flower. And bumble bees too. 

Honey bee collecting pollen on yellow center of Cosmos flower.
Honey bee gathering pollen on yellow Cosmos flower center.

On this particular morning while photographing them, yellow jackets were flying about as well. Given my severe allergy to these aggressive, stinging creatures, as the morning heated up, I opted for a speedy getaway – lest I get stung! 😫

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