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Any of the garden plants that make up the genus Cosmos in the aster family (Asteraceae), containing about 25 species native to the tropical New World. Heads of flowers are borne along long flower stalks or together in an open cluster. The disk flowers are red or yellow; the ray flowers, sometimes notched, may be white, pink, red, purple, or other colors. Most annual ornamental varieties have been developed from the common garden cosmos (C. bipinnatus).
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on cosmos, visit Britannica.com.