chocolate scented bulbs

Lee Poulsen
Thu, 06 Jul 2006 11:27:01 PDT
On Jul 6, 2006, at 8:47 AM, wrote:
>> Also, it is supposedly the case that all of them in existence in the
>> entire world are all the same clone and they are extinct in the wild.
>> So no seeds are ever formed.
> I've seen said this elsewhere and wonder what the truth is. The same
> situation is supposed to also appertain to /Lotus berthelottii/ from
> the Canary Islands - extinct in wild, only one clone in cultivation,
> self-sterile.
> Can anybody offer a reference that has credibility above "urban myth"?

I think I read it first in an article on the species in Curtis's 
Botanical Magazine, Volume 20, Number 1, February 2003, pp. 40-48(9). 
But I don't have that article available right now.

Here's what wikipedia says, and gives as a reference New RHS Dictionary 
of Gardening:

<<Cosmos atrosanguineus
 From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Cosmos atrosanguineus
Conservation status: Extinct in the wild

Cosmos atrosanguineus (Chocolate Cosmos) is a species of Cosmos, native 
to Mexico, where it is extinct in the wild. The species was introduced 
into cultivation in 1902, where it survives as a single clone 
reproduced by vegetative propagation.

It is a herbaceous perennial plant growing to 40-60 cm tall, with a 
fleshy tuberous root. The leaves are 7-15 cm long, pinnate, with 
leaflets 2-5 cm long. The flowers are produced in a capitulum 3-4.5 cm 
diameter, dark red to maroon-dark brown, with a ring of six to ten 
(usually eight) broad ray florets and a center of disc florets; they 
have a light vanillin fragrance (like many chocolates), which becomes 
more noticeable as the summer day wears on.

Cultivation and uses
The single surviving clone is a popular ornamental plant, grown for its 
rich dark red-brown flowers. It is not self-fertile, so no viable seeds 
are produced, and the plant has to be propagated by division of the 

It requires partial sun or full sun, and flowers from mid to late 
summer. It is frost-sensitive; in temperate zones, the tuber has to be 
dug up and stored in a frost-free store over the winter.

Huxley, A. (ed.) 1992. New RHS Dictionary of Gardening 1: 739. 

 This plant article is a stub. Please help Wikipedia grow by expanding 

However, Fred Boutin says he collected seed of this Cosmos in meadows 
of herbs under tall
pines on a hillside in Jalisco, Mexico.

Fred, do you still grow any of this from those seeds you collected?

--Lee Poulsen
Pasadena, California, USDA Zone 10a

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