If you have ever found yourself trying to decide between giving someone flowers or chocolate, we might have discovered the perfect solution. How about a sweet little flower that not only looks like red velvet cake but has a decidedly chocolate fragrance as well?
More commonly known as chocolate cosmos, these daisy-like flowers are native to Mexico, but started to be grown around the world when seed samples were sent to the U.K. in the mid-1800s. They love warm climates and grow well in hardiness zones 7 or above. But even if you live in a milder region, you can plant chocolate cosmos in containers to keep indoors during colder weather.
The flowers feature burgundy petals with a chocolatey-brown undertone and luxurious brown centers that verge on velvety black. Chocolate cosmos bloom at night.
Their gorgeous appearance is only part of the draw of this plant, though, as the flowers also have a soft yet distinctive dark chocolate fragrance with a hint of vanilla. The delicious aroma paired with the deep colors of these flowers will likely make you think of rich red velvet cake.
Caring for Chocolate Cosmos
These perennials will bloom for many years when grown in a moderate climate. They can grow as tall as 30 inches, especially in full sunlight. Bringing the plants indoors during cooler months can help ensure a long and healthy lifespan.
The low-maintenance, drought-tolerant flowers are a favorite of hummingbirds and butterflies and look as lovely in a full flower garden as they do in a pot on your porch or patio. They bloom from midsummer to fall, giving you several months to enjoy their beauty and enticing aroma.
The seeds of the form of Cosmos atrosanguineus that is currently available to the public are sterile. Instead, these plants propagate through their tuberous roots. So, if you’re starting new plants, it’s best to look for roots with signs of growth on them. Deadheading flowers that are past their prime will produce more blossoms, and you can dig them up and separate them every couple of years to create even more.
Surprise friends and family members with their own chocolate flowers again and again!
This story originally appeared on Simplemost. Checkout Simplemost for additional stories.