Growing up may have dispelled many charming childhood mysteries, but I can never resist holding a conch to my ear and listening to the sea within. I’d reach for the biggest shell in my collection today just to listen to its muffled roar.
Quite recently, a friend gave me a handful of floral seashell seeds. These delicate ‘seashells’ couldn’t be further removed from the tough calcium carbonate exoskeletons that I’ve had for years.
But if there’s anything I like better than my collection of seashells, it has to be my plants. So Cosmos Seashells are definitely keepers.
The first batch of seedlings succumbed to the shock of transplanting so I tried again. This time I sowed directly into the trough where they made it past infancy.
The delicate juveniles surprised me by budding before they were 8 inches tall. The pinhead bud grew and burgeoned, and the sepals split to reveal a pink Cosmos Seashell. Then came the white and maroon ‘shells’.
Most of the flowers had fluted and conical petals, but not all. Some petals curved and overlapped to form a cone, yet others had regular flat petals.
I’ll sow another lot soon and this time, I’ll sow more and rake in some compost and a dose of fertilizers too.
Maybe it’s the thought of giant conches and the roar of the sea. Since I’m never going to get a murmur out of these seashells, an auditory treat is out of the question. So I’ll just focus on giving myself an eyeful of them instead.
Care and propagation: Full sun; well-drained soil; water generously. Propagate using seeds.