Growing cut flowers has meant learning new terms and tools. Scarification, Dibble Stick, and True Leaves are just a few that I’ve mastered. But “straight bunch” is a floral term that continues to make me giggle. Where are the gay bunches? Perhaps all bouquets should be called gay bunches as they make us so happy.

A straight bunch of celosia — meaning all the same flower — is coming your way for this week’s share. We thought it might be fun to take a break from mixed (gay) bouquets. Pictured below is our take on a straight bunch, with a variety of colors and shapes of celosia, including rippled heads, called combs or brains, and plumes or “feathers,” and spiked flat shoots. Something for everyone.

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There are many reasons to love celosia: it’s edible and medicinal. Nutritionally, celosia leaves are comparable to other leafy greens, containing protein, calcium, iron, phosphorus, and vitamins A and C.  (Best to eat the leaves prior to flowers forming as the leaves become bitter.)

Celosia is widely used as medicine in Asia and Africa, especially in rural areas. Though Celosia’s use as an alternative cure for various ailments is not yet clinically proven, celosia seed is believed to be ophthalmic, hypotensive, and has antibacterial properties. Precaution must be taken because it causes dilation of pupils and is not advisable for patients with glaucoma. Celosia flower is also used to treat a wide variety of ailments (e.g., blurred vision, cataracts, diarrhea, bloody stool, uterine bleeding, tapeworm, and other types of parasites.)

That’s our kind of flower: useful and beautiful. Enjoy!