Cosmos parviflorus, Southwestern Cosmos
Scientific Name: Cosmos parviflorus
Common Name: Southwestern Cosmos
Family: Asteraceae, Sunflower Family
Synonyms: (Coreopsis parviflora)
Size: 2½ feet or more.
Growth Form: Forb/herb; erect, tall slender stems and leaves, mostly glabrous.
Leaves: Green; thin, glabrous, pinnatifid leaves dissected into narrow thread-like lobes or segments, short petioles.
Flower Color: White, rose or pinkish; attractive, radiate heads, tips of petal-like rays notched, usually 8 ray florets, flowering stalks leafless, single medium sized heads under 1.5 inches; fruit is an achene.
Flowering Season: July to October.
Elevation: 4,000 to 9,000 feet.
Habitat Preferences: Open areas in pine communities, also on slopes, hillsides and canyons and disturbed areas.
Recorded Range: In the United States, Southwestern Cosmos is a southwestern native in AZ, CO, NM and TX. It is listed as an invasive in MA, MD, ME, MO and RI. Also found in southern Baja California and northern and central Mexico. In Arizona it is found in northern areas but more commonly observed in the southern part of the state.
North America & US County Distribution Map for Cosmos parviflorus.
U.S. Weed Information: No data available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No data available.
Wetland Indicator: Cosmos parviflorus is included on the USDA 2012 National Wetland Plant List.
Threatened/Endangered Information: No data available.
Comments: Southwestern Cosmos is a native species in the southwest United States that has the center of its population in New Mexico. It is found in higher elevations in Arizona where it does well with ample summer rainfall although it is never profuse or observed in large numbers. Southwestern Cosmos is grazed by livestock.
A landscape cultivated species, the Garden Cosmos, Cosmos bipinnatus, is native to Mexico and is more robust with larger flowers in pink, purple or white.
The Navajos made a cold infusion of dried leaves for use as ceremonial chant lotion. See species account from Native American Ethnobotany, University of Michigan, Dearborn.