Garden Eyes Callistephus chinensis produces gorgeous, multi-tone flowers in a mixture of pinks and purples 0n 2-3 foot plants from early Summer through Fall. This is an annual or biennial herb with one erect, mostly unbranched stem growing 20 to 100 centimeters tall. The alternately arranged leaves vary in shape or size. The basal leaves usually fall away be flowering. Leaves around the middle of the stem are a few centimeters long and are borne on winged petioles. The blades have serrated edges. Leaves toward the top may have smooth edges.
The large solitary flower head grows at the top of the stem and sometimes on branches. The head is lined with layers of phyllaries, those in the outer layer large and leaf like, measuring up to 3 centimeters long. The inner layer can be purple-tinged. The head contains one or two rings of ray florets, most often in shades of reddish purple. Cultivated varieties can have ray florets in most any color, including red, pink, blue, purple, and white. They are up to 3.5 centimeters long. There are many yellow disc florets in the center. The fruit is a rough-textured, glandular, purple-mottled cypsela that turns gray with age. It has a pappus composed of one outer layer of reddish scales and two inner layers of white bristles.
Latin Name: Callistephus chinensis
Site and Soil: Callistephus chinensis do well in consistently wet, well drained soil and full sun to partial shade.
Size at Maturity: 1-1.5 feet wide by 2-3 feet tall
Bloom Time: Early Summer- Fall
USDA Zone: 2-11