Chocolate is the most popular sweet in the world the average Australian eats somewhere between 5 and 6 kilograms of the stuff every year. Most of us love chocolate, and so imagine how exciting it would be to have a chocolate scented flower in your garden.
Cosmos ‘Choca Mocha’ will give you that irresistible chocolate fragrance with zero calories, regardless of how much of that delicious scent you inhale.
‘Choca Mocha’ has been bred from Cosmos atrosanguineus, a small herbaceous perennial plant that grows in parts of Mexico. It has been bred to be very compact and multi-branching, producing a plant that forms an attractive mound to about 30cm tall and flowers profusely. It is neat and tidy, and non-invasive.
The distinctive flowers are the colour of dark chocolate, and have the same wonderful fragrance. They are a classic daisy shape, with (usually) 8 petals surrounding a central disc. The leafless flowering stems are held about 30cm above the foliage, and each holds a single bloom.
The foliage is an attractive mid-green, sometimes with a slightly darker tone on the edges of the leaves.
For best results, plant it in a sunny to partly shaded position, with moist soil enriched with organic matter. Good drainage is important, and regularly feeding with a well-balanced organic plant food will enhance growth. Remove spent flowers to promote more blooms.
‘Choca Mocha’ flowers from a young age, and will keep blooming for most of the year in a warm climate.
In cooler areas, it may retreat to an underground tuber, like a dahlia, to re-emerge in spring. In this case, the tuber can be lifted and stored over winter, or left in the ground if the area drains freely. You can prune it back quite hard when it starts to look like it’s resting for winter.
Because the flowers are so striking, and smell so delicious, this would be a great plant to grow in a pot in an outdoor living area. The flower colour is very dark, so it would be very attractive in a pot against a light-coloured wall.
In a garden situation, it would be lovely in a mixed planting, perhaps alongside pastel shades of crimson, pinks and white to complement the rich chocolate tones. To really let the deep ‘Choca Mocha’ colour sing and stand out in the garden, try pairing with Alyssum, Petunia & Calibrachoa.
Aside from the incredible beauty these flowers and blooms hold, they are an invaluable resource to have in the garden. The Cosmos family, including Cosmos atrosanguineus is well known for attracting beneficial insects and pollinators like bees, birds and butterflies.