Herbs, annual. Stems erect, to 1 m, glabrous. Leaves: petiole 1-3 cm; blade unlobed, ovate, lanceolate, or nearly linear, 8-15 × 1-6 cm, base tapering, apex long-acuminate. Inflorescences dense cylindric or ovoid spikes, units 13-20 mm diam. Flowers: tepals silvery white or pinkish, 3-veined, 6-8 mm, scarious, translucent; style elongate, 4 mm, indurate and exserted at maturity; stigmas 3. Utricles 4 mm. Seeds 3-8, 1.5 mm diam., smooth, shiny. 2n = 72. Flowering summer. Waste places, weedy areas; 0-1400 m; introduced; Ala., Fla., Ind., Ky., La., Md., N.J., N.C., Pa., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Utah, W.Va.; West Indies; South America; native to Asia (India). Celosia argentea is locally escaped from cultivation, and perhaps originally native to India.
Erect, glabrous annual to 1 m; lvs lanceolate to nearly linear, 8-15 cm; spikes dense, terminating the stem and in the upper axils, 2-15 cm; sep lance-oblong, 6-8 mm, in wild plants silvery, in cult. plants also pink, yellow, or red; style indurate and exserted at maturity; 2n=36, 72. Native of tropical Amer., occasionally escaped from cult. in our range.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.
©The New York Botanical Garden. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
From Flora of Indiana (1940) by Charles C. Deam
A cultivated form of this plant was reported by Nieuwland as escaped in the foreign settlement in the west side of South Bend. I have noted it from the roadside on dumps and in waste places. We have had it in cultivation for many years and it maintains itself by self sown seed. Before the mature plants are cut for burning enough seed fall to sow themselves in abundance. There is no report that it is established outside the sandy area about South Bend.