Sunday, May 3, 2015

Royalty of Green Fields - Cosmos Flowers



A Cosmos Field
 "The Lord created things of beauty in many colors, flowers and humans."

My favorite flower is not anything as sophisticated as roses, tulips or orchids but a very common flower that grows in both, wilderness and gardens even flower pots. This humble flower can lift depression, has antioxidant activity and makes one of the most delightful salads besides adding beauty to a home, garden or countryside. It is a variety of the cosmos flower called cosmos bipinnatus, commonly called garden cosmos. It makes an excellent cut flower too and has excellent vibrations when used on a bedside table promoting restful sleep.

It comes in red, pink, purple, white, and mixed varieties. There are other varieties of cosmos including the yellow and orange one that will grow in hot summers but the latter is not as pretty because its foliage is not fern like. If some flowers like orchids and even roses are heavenly flowers, the cosmos is a fully earthly flower and truly a pride of our planet earth, the royalty amongst flowers of the field. I have grown these for many years in my garden and also developed bi-colored varieties over the years, in the past.

The leaves and flowers have a strong earthy aura that lifts depression and generate happiness, especially if one sits close to a patch on a sunny day, to the extent that the Sun does not become uncomfortable. As you sit, munch on well roasted peanuts in shells (shell them as you eat, the repetitive movement of fingers is meditative same as in knitting or rosary beads), a packet of commercial potato chips (these cannot be done at home, use the empty packet later to gather peanut shells for discarding in a waste bin) and a freshly prepared large glass of fruit juice.  If  a person has not been self centered during this exercise, thinking of their wants and needs one would derive benefit. Thinking of a good deed for others instead matches the consciousness of trees and plants and helps most and then even a depressed person is likely to get up and start dancing in joy soon after this exercise, if snappy music is played.

 Cosmos Flowers in Royal Elizabeth Pink color
A White Cosmos Flower

Some varieties of cosmos are eaten in different parts of the world, both the leaves and flowers, and it is a delightful addition to salads. However, I am not certain if Cosmos Bipinnatus is equally edible or not. I suspect it is and has healthy antioxidant properties (see for example this medical study). Following is my recipe for a salad with this plant used as a garnish

The King’s Cosmos and Lettuce salad


 Ingredients:

1 Head lettuce, iceberg or cos lettuce
1 Fresh crisp cucumber
Half cup mayonaise sauce 
Quarter cup cosmos petals, assorted colors
Quarter cup flaked almonds to garnish
Half cup cosmos leaves for garnish
(serves four)

Prepare a salad of crisp Iceberg or Cos lettuce by breaking off inch size clumps from a well washed lettuce head after pulling out the larger outer leaves to reach the crisp core. Mix in slices of cucumber. Do not throw away the outer leaves, they are full of life giving chlorophyll rather preserve them for a separate dish such as for rolling in steamed prawns or flaked white fish dressed in tartar sauce or as one of the layers of sandwiches to carry along on that long awaited hike in the woods or to the lake or for lunch. Dress the salad just before serving in a thick mayonnaise sauce to preserve maximum crunch (variation possible with thick sour cream) and then garnish on top liberally with flaked almonds and leaves as well as petals of the cosmos flowers of different colors preferably in small individual glass or silver bowls. Pick the leaves and flowers selectively and tenderly when the sun is up (a time when plants do not feel pain if plucked delicately) so as not to hurt the plant and keep them wrapped in a clean wet muslin cloth until dinner when this salad is best because it promotes deep sleep if consumed after dinner.  It is a salad fit for a King.

Note: Lovegan food eaters who may not consume lettuce, because it involves killing the plant (for foods sans violence see this) can replace the lettuce in this recipe with crisp baby spinach leaves and sliced pure white button mushrooms for the King's Spinach and Cosmos Flower salad. Mushrooms are not a plant but fungi that have completed their life cycle.

A cosmos cluster



Image sources in order of appearance in article
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Medical Reference:

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