Sulfur cosmos (Cosmos sulphureus) is a member of the cosmos family and a real treat to have in the natural dye garden. This is another New World native, indigenous to Mexico and Central America. The vigorous annual readily self-seeds, attracts pollinators and yields masses of bright orange flowers that may be used fresh or dried. Add the flowers directly into the dye bath and watch as they make a wonderful, sunny orange shade that brightens the winter palette, or scatter them for eco-printing. If you are familiar with dyeing with coreopsis, sulfur cosmos makes a brighter shade with an alum mordant.
We only get these sweet flowers once a year; this is the harvest from 2020 and we are thrilled with the results!