- Episode 17 Celosia
Episode 17 Celosia
Traditional Japanese flowers expanding the international market for the celosia
The celosia is native to tropical areas of Asia and Africa. And there are several species, including Celosia cristata and Celosia plumosa. Due to them being quite robust and heat resistant.
They are indispensable items both in summer flower beds and as cut flowers. As with many other vivid cultivars, Sakata was involved with the development of this flower.
After the celosia was brought to Japan from China in the Nara period (A.D.710-794) and it became firmly established as a garden variety, various cultivars were developed. In the 1930s, Sakata undertook breeding experiments to expand the market for this representative Japanese cultivar worldwide.
In 1935, the Flame of Fire variety was awarded the bronze medal at the All American Selections (AAS). This success followed the F1 All-double petunia win the previous year, and marked the beginning of the rise of the celosia in the US.
After WWII, a series of cultivars developed by Sakata went on to win awards at the AAS, including the Fire Glow, Golden Triumph, Red Fox, Apricot Brandy and Prestige Scarlet. Thereafter, our varieties of celosia became widely adopted across the world.
The 1980s gave birth to potted plants, namely those in the Kimono and Yukata series. Motst celosia barieties do not usually flower until after summer solstice (it is a short day flowering type); but, the Kimono and Yutaka cultivars bloom regardless of the length of the day. Therefore, compact potted plants with flowers that are already in bloom can be shipped from spring to summer, which has enabled the celosia market to grow.
Furthermore, thanks to the multi-seed sowing cultivation method, which consists of sewing a mixture of differently colored seeds creating a pretty display, these series became quite a sensation.
Imagine variously colored beautiful flowers all in one pot, almost like a decorated cake. Kimono and Yukata have made a new way of enjoying the celosia possible.