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 from two intrepid local growers and we are thrilled with the results!
We will have sulfur cosmos seeds available from Grand Prismatic later this season, so you can also grow your own masses of cosmos blooms.