Public Names its Favourite Cosmos

Thursday 20 October 2016

• Cosmos ‘Cupcakes White’ wins People’s Choice Award • More than 1000 members of the public voted • Award held to celebrate 2016 as the Year of the Cosmos


More than 1000 visitors to RHS Garden Wisley voted in a poll to name their favourite garden Cosmos cultivar as part of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS)’s annual People’s Choice Competition, with Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Cupcakes White’ earning the top spot. Cosmos had been chosen by Fleuroselect as Europe’s plant of the year for 2016, who together with the RHS worked on the promotion and trialling of this genus.

For six weeks between August and September 2016, more than 85 cultivars of Cosmos were displayed at RHS’s flagship Garden Wisley, encouraging many garden visitors to appreciate the many cultivars of Cosmos on show and vote to name their favourites.

The poll has identified three cultivars of Cosmos as the public’s favourites, Cosmos ‘Cupcakes White’ which came in first place with 12% of the vote, followed by C. ‘Cosmic Red’ with 6% in second place and C. ‘Brightness Red’ with 4%.

Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Cupcakes White’ has a unique flower shape with petals fused together to form a cup. It has an elegant, pure ice white colour with some flowers pinking throughout the flowering season. Boasting impressive dimensions, the plant can grow up to 70cm tall and has a spread of up to 50cm.

Cosmos sulphureus ‘Cosmic Red’ has been described by its breeders Benary as “out of this world” because of its compact size, reaching up to 30cm in height, and its intense scarlet colour, which intensifies as light levels increase outside. This cultivar is well suited to be planted in containers or in garden borders as it produces an abundance of semi double, 5cm blooms all summer.

Cosmos sulphureus ‘Brightness Red’ has daisy-like, warm orange-red flowers which bloom over a beautiful green feathery foliage. It is an all summer free-flowering Cosmos, growing up to 50cm in height.

Speaking about the People’s Choice competition, RHS Trials Development manager, Mark Heath said: “Cosmos are among the nation’s favourite summer and autumn-flowering plants and the RHS thought it would be great working with Fleuroselect to celebrate the sheer variety of this wonderful plant and celebrate the product of many years of breeding and selection.”

“The rich floral display at RHS Garden Wisley will offer garden visitors some fresh ideas for Cosmos showing how they would work best in their garden and inspire more people to try out cultivars they may not have been aware existed.”

The People’s Choice competition was one of a number of initiatives organised throughout Europe in celebration of 2016 being the Year of the Cosmos. 2017 will be the year of the Zinnia.

Throughout the year garden enthusiasts were also invited to celebrate the beauty of Cosmos flowers by exploring the wide range of cultivars planted across RHS partner gardens and all four RHS gardens; RHS Garden Wisley in Surrey, RHS Garden Rosemoor in Devon, RHS Garden Hyde Hall in Essex and RHS Garden Harlow Carr in Yorkshire.

For more information, please contact Garfield Myrie in the RHS Press Office on 020 7821 3060 or email .

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RHS People’s Choice Vote Results

The full top 20 Cosmos cultivars are listed below with the % of the total votes received:



Notes to editors

About the RHS
The Royal Horticultural Society was founded in 1804 by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood for the encouragement and improvement of the science, art and practice of horticulture. We held our first flower shows in 1820, were granted a Royal Charter in 1861 and acquired RHS Garden Wisley in 1903. From our first meetings in a small room off London’s Piccadilly, we have grown to become the world’s largest gardening charity.

Today the RHS is committed to providing a voice for all gardeners. We are driven by a simple love of plants and a belief that gardeners make the world a better place. 200 years on we continue to safeguard and advance the science, art and practice of horticulture, creating displays that inspire people to garden. In all aspects of our work we help gardeners develop by sharing our knowledge of plants, gardens and the environment.

RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 0845 130 4646, or visit  

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262


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About the RHS

The RHS believes that gardening improves the quality of life and that everyone should have access to great garden experiences. As a charity we help to bring gardening into people's lives and support gardeners of all levels and abilities; whether they are expert horticulturists or children who are planting seeds for the very first time.

RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 0845 130 4646, or visit

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262