‘Dragon’s Breath’ Celosia

It was a nice sunny day outside and the recent 1″ layer of ice/snow was melting down here and there.  Both Big John and Larry headed out in the gardens to retrieve lights.  John had some indoor projects as well.  Ron P. was in to repair lights and Jim and Vern were working on a carpentry project.  Urban headed out in the gardens for some pruning.  I had a series of meetings and continue to put spring orders together.  We had a nice Volunteer Social event last night with about 80 volunteers in attendance for soup and my presentation on Great Dixter which I visited last fall over in England.  We’ll have two more of these Volunteer Socials on February 24th and March 31st respectively (5 pm – 7 pm).  These are great ways to stay connected with the gardens and hear what’s coming up for the year.  No RSVP required!
I had heard a lot of buzz last year about this ‘Dragon’s Breath’ celosia (Celosia argentea plumosa) and was able to view it at three different trial gardens last year.  We grow a lot of different celosias each year including some with dark foliage and/or red flower plumes.  ‘Dragon’s Breath’ at 24″ tall is quite showy with elongated, burgundy/green foliage and pinkish red flower spikes.  Note the difference in the intensity of foliage coloration in the first four shots (some degree of light shade) and the last four that were in full sun.  This is a later blooming variety but is also heat and drought tolerant like other celosias.  This plant also doesn’t mind humidity.  We’ll be trying it this year and look forward to including the impact of ‘Dragon’s Breath’ celosia in some of our sunny garden beds.