Savour your chocolate without the extra kilojoules
Chocolate is the most popular sweet in the world and the average Australian eats somewhere between 5-6kg of the stuff every year. Most of us love chocolate, and so imagine how exciting it would be to have a chocolate scented flower in your garden.
Cosmos Choca Mocha will give you that irresistible chocolate fragrance with zero kilojoules, regardless of how much of that delicious scent you inhale.
Choca Mocha has been bred from cosmos atrosanguineus, a small herbaceous perennial plant that grows in parts of Mexico. It is a multi-branching plant that forms an attractive mound to about 30cm tall and flowers profusely. It is neat and tidy.
The distinctive flowers are the colour of dark chocolate and have the same wonderful fragrance. They are a classic daisy shape, with (usually) eight petals around a central disc. The leafless flowering stems hold a single bloom about 30cm above the foliage.
The foliage is an attractive mid-green, sometimes with a darker tone on the edges.
For best results, plant it in a sunny to partly shaded position with moist soil enriched with organic matter. Good drainage is important as is regular feeding with a well-balanced organic plant food. Remove spent flowers to bring on more.
Choca Mocha flowers from a young age, and will keep blooming for most of the year in a warm climate.
In cooler areas, it may retreat to an underground tuber, like a dahlia, to re-emerge in spring. Such a tuber can be lifted and stored over winter or left in the ground if the area drains freely. You can prune it back quite hard when it starts to look like it's resting for winter.
Because the flowers are so striking and smell so delicious, this would be great in a pot in an outdoor living area. The flower is very dark, so it would be very attractive in a pot against a light-coloured wall.
In a garden situation, it would be lovely in a mixed planting, perhaps alongside pastel shades of crimson, pinks and white to complement the rich chocolate tones. To really let the deep Choca Mocha colour sing and stand out in the garden, try pairing with alyssum, petunia and calibrachoa.
Aside from the incredible beauty these flowers and blooms hold, they are an invaluable resource to have in the garden. The cosmos family, including cosmos atrosanguineus, is well known for attracting beneficial insects and pollinators such as bees, birds and butterflies.
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