Silver Cockscomb
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Silver Cockscomb
A Naturalized Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Silver Cockscomb, White Cockscomb, Flamingo Feathers, Wheat Celosia • Hindi: सिलमिली Silmili, Gadrya, Garke, गरखा Garkha, सिलवारी Silvari • Kannada: ಅಣ್ಣೆಸೊಪ್ಪು Anne soppu, ಹಣ್ಣೆಸೊಪ್ಪು Hanne soppu • Marathi: कुर्दु Kurdu, कुरदा Kurda, Morachendya • Nepali: Seto change, सिताभारका Sitavarka • Rajasthani: गर्खा Garkha, इमर्ती Imarti • Sanskrit: मयूरशिखा Mayurasikha, Rudrajata • Tamil: Makili-k-kirai, பந்நை கீரை Pannai keerai • Mizo: Zamzo
Botanical name: Celosia argentea    Family: Amaranthaceae (Amaranth family)
Synonyms: Celosia japonica, Celosia stricta, Celosia plumosa

Silver cockscombs are erect, branching plants, 60-75 cm tall, with narrow-elliptic or lance-shaped, strongly veined leaves 5-15 cm long, and hundreds of tiny flowers packed in dense spikes of silver-white flowers which usually stand above the foliage. They are beautiful plants with soft, dense feathery spikes, produced in profusion. Wonderful straw-like flower when dried. It offers fresh shape and colour to cut flower, or everlasting flower arrangements, with 10-13 cm flower spikes on 60 cm stems. Slender, cylindrical pink or rose flowerheads have a metallic sheen because the individual flowers are silvery-white at their bases. Silver Cockscomb is found in India, W-E Nepal, Bhutan, SE Asia, China, Japan, Korea, Tropical Africa, at altitudes of 500-1600 m. It is also found in the Himalayas and Western Ghats.
Medicinal uses: The flowers and seed are astringent, haemostatic, ophthalmic, parasiticide and poultice. They are used in the treatment of bloody stool, haemorrhoid bleeding, uterine bleeding, leucorrhoea, dysentery and diarrhoea. As a parasiticide it is very effective against Trichomonas, a 20% extract can cause the Trichomonas to disappear in 15 minutes. The seed is hypotensive and ophthalmic. It is used in the treatment of diarrhoea, bloodshot eyes, blurring of vision, cataracts and hypertension, but should not be used by people with glaucoma because it dilates the pupil. The seeds are widely used in India for the treatment of diabetes mellitus.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Delhi & Imphal.

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