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Family Asteraceae / Compositae
Cosmos sulphureus Cav.


Scientific names  Common names
Bidens artemisiifolia (Jacq.) Kuntze             [Illegitimate] Cosmos (Tag., Engl.)
Bidens sulfurea (Cav.) Sch.Bip. Sulfur cosmos (Engl.)
Bidens sulphureus (Cav.) Sch.Bip. Yellow cosmos (Engl.)
Coreopsis artemisiaefolia Jacq.  
Coreopsis artemisiifolia Jacq.  
Cosmea sulfurea (Cav.) Willd.  
Cosmos artemisiifolius (Jacq.) M.R.Almeida  
Cosmos aurantiacus Klatt  
Cosmos sulfureus Cav.  
Cosmos sulphureus Cav. is an accepted name The Plant List

Other vernacular names
AFRICA: Ododo-imiesu.
FINNISH: Keltakosmos.
RUSSIAN: Kosmos želtyj.
SWEDISH: Gullskära.

Gen info
- Flowers of all Cosmos species attract birds and butterflies.
- Cultivars include: Brightness Red *AGM, Klondyke Mix, Ladybird (Dwarf Red, Gold, Orange, Lemon), The Diablo, The Polidor,, Sunny Red, Sunny Gold, Sunset Tango *AGM. (AGM indicate the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit) (9)

Annual herb growing to 30-120 centimeters tall. Leaves are opposite, pinnately cut; with narrow lanceolate lobes. Flower stalk is up to 20 centimeters long. Ray flowers are 8, spreading, pale to golden yellow, toothed at the margins; disk flowers with exerted anthers. Many introduced hybrids with flowers ranging from pink, magenta to white.

- Ornamental cultivation throughout the Philippines.

• Phytochemical studies yielded 2 '-hydroxy-4,4 '-dimethoxychalcone from the flowers and quercetin and 3-stigmasterol-3-0-beta-D-glucopyranoside from the leaves. source
• Has yielded butein, known for its antioxidant activity.
• Study of whole plant yielded two novel 15(10-1)abeomuurolane sesquiterpenes, cosmosoic acid (1) and cosmosaldehyde (2). (5)
• Essential oil of flowers yielded major constituents of 2,6-di-tert-butyl-4-methylphenol and the sesquiterpenes β-caryophyllene and germacrene D. (Aguiar et al., 2013). (8)
• Study of orange flowers of Cosmos sulphureus cultivar "Diablo" yielded a new 3-deoxyanthocyanin, named cosmonidin 4'-O-glucoside (1a), together with known aurone, chalcone, flavone, flavonol, and flavanone. The known flavonoids were characterized as sulfuretin 6-O-glucoside (2), butein 4'-O-glucoside (3), quercetin 3-O-glucoside (4), luteolin 7-O-glucuronide (5), and eriodictyol 7-O-glucuronide (6). Compound 1a was also found in 10 other C. sulphureus cultivars. (14)
• Study of whole plant of C. sulphureus isolated two novel 15(10-->1)abeomuurolane sesquiterpenes, cosmosoic acid (1) and cosmosaldehyde (2). (16)

• Studies have suggested antioxidant, antimalarial, antibacterial, hepatoprotective, anthelmintic, repellent, phytoremediative properties.

Parts utilized
Leaves, rhizomes, flowers.

- Flowers are edible, with a mango flavor, adding splashes of color to salads or fruit dishes.
- Young leaves also edible.


- No recorded folkloric use in the Philippines.
- Leaves and aerial parts used for intermittent fever.
- In Brazil, traditionally used for malaria. Fruits and aerial parts used for jaundice, intermittent fever, splenomegaly. Also used as tonic.
- In Africa, plant used for treatment of wounds; used as astringent and colourant.
Dye: Flower yields a yellow dye with sunlight fastness when used on wool. (2)

Anti-Malarial: An ethnobotanical study showed Cosmos sulphureus to have activity against Plasmodium.   (1)
Flower Dye: Natural dyes are biodegradable and eco-friendly. Study evaluated the flower dye from Cosmos sulphureus on wool. Results showed the wool could be dyed with Cosmos flower dye with excellent to outstanding sunlight fastness irrespective of mordant combinations and mordanting method. (2)
Butein / Antioxidant: Butein has been isolated from Cosmos sulfureus. Butein has been reported to be a powerful antioxidant against lipid and LDL peroxidation and has also exhibited anti-inflammatory activities, aromatase inhibition, cyclooxygenase inhibition and angiotensin converting enzyme inhibition, etc.
Mosquito Repellent: Study of petroleum based extract of crushed plant extract of yellow cosmos was effective in the repulsion of mosquitoes. (4)
Potential Hyperaccumulator for Cadmium: In a study screening plants for potential hyperaccumulator for cadmium from contaminated soil, the maximum bioconcentration factor (BCF) was obtained for marigold, followed by cosmos, sunflower and Guinea grass for all cadmium treatments. (7)
Anti-Schitosomicidal / Antibacterial / Essential Oil: The essential oil extracted from the flowers of B. sulphurea displayed schistosomicidal properties and exhibited significant antibacterial activity. (Aguiar et al., 2013 and Ram et al., 2013) (8)

Hepatoprotective: Study evaluated the hepatoprotective activity of aqua-methanolic extracts of Cosmos sulphureus and C. bipinnatus against paracetamol-induced toxicity. Silymarin was used as standard control. HPLC analysis revealed the presence of quercetin, gallic acid, caffeic acid and chlorogenic acid in both plant extracts. Both plants significantly (p<0.05) and dose-dependently protected hepatocytes from paracetamol-induced hepatotoxicity. Activity was attributed possibly to presence of quercetin and other phenolic compounds. (10)
Anthelmintic against Onchocerca ochengi / Acute Toxicity Study / Roots: Study evaluated the antionchocerca potential of crude extracts and fractions of C. sulphureus using Onchocerca ochengi, a bovine filarial closest in phylogeny to Onchocerca volvulus. The EtOH extract of roots showed highest anthelmintic activity with LC50 of 31.01 ± 1.17 µg/ml, which was more significant than Ivermeetin (LC50 of 41.78 µg/mL) used as standard. Acute toxicity study showed a single dose of 3000 mg/kg induced no critical behavioral changes or death. (11)
Antioxidant / Flowers: Study evaluated four extracts of Cosmos sulphureus flowers and A. columnaris bark-peel for phytochemical composition and free radical scavenging activities. The methanol extract of both plants showed significant radical scavenging activities, which was attributed to presence of flavonoids, tannins, and phenolic compounds. (12)
Antibacterial / Leaves: Study evaluated the antibacterial activity of C. sulphureus leaf extract against Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus. Results showed antibacterial activity against B. subtilis, although not comparable to positive control. The other test bacteria showed resistance. (15).

- Cultivated.

- Seeds in the cybermarket.

Updated September 2020 / February 2016

                                                   PHOTOS / ILLUSTRATIONS
Photos © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Photographs / Flower: Yello Cosmos in Kepahiang / Relly Komaruzaman / CC by SA 4.0 / click on image to go to source page / Wikipedia

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Plants used traditionally to treat malaria in Brazil: the archives of Flora Medicinal / Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine 2007, 3:18doi:10.1186/1746-4269-3-18
Utilization of Cosmos sulphureus Cav. flower dye on wool using mordant combinations / Natural Product Radiance, Jan-Feb 2006; Vol.5: pp 19-24
Cosmos sulphureus Cav. / Synonyms / The Plant List
Two Novel 15(10 ! 1)Abeomuurolane Sesquiterpenes from Cosmos sulphureus
/ Jyh-Horng Wu, Yi-Fu Chang, Yu-Tang Tung, Minoru Tsuzuki, Akira Izuka, Sheng-Yang Wang*, and Yueh-Hsiung Kuo* /
Helvetica Chimica Acta – Vol. 93 (2010)
Ethnobotanical perspective of antimalarial plants: traditional knowledge based study / Abdul Qayum, Rakesh Arya and Andrew M. Lynn / BMC Research Notes, 2016, 9:67 / DOI: 10.1186/s13104-015-1827-z
Screening of potential hyperaccumulator for cadmium from contaminated soil / Nonglak Rungruang, Sandhya Babel*, Preeda Parkpian / Desalination and Water Treatment / doi: 10.5004/dwt.2011.2672
Cytotoxicity screening of essential oils in cancer cell lines / Pollyanna Francielli de Oliveira, Jacqueline Morais Alves, Jaqueline Lopes Damasceno, Renata Aparecida Machado Oliveira, Herbert Júnior Dias, Antônio Eduardo Miller Crotti, Denise Crispim Tavares / Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia, Volume 25, Issue 2, March–April 2015, Pages 183–188 / doi:10.1016/j.bjp.2015.02.009
Cosmos sulphureus / Wikipedia
Chemical characterisation and hepatoprotective potential of Cosmos sulphureus Cav. and Cosmos bipinnatus Cav. / Mohammad Saleem, Hafiz Akbar Ali, Muhammad Furqan Akhtar, Uzma Saleem, Ammara Saleem and Iram Irshad / Natural Product Researc, 2019; 33(6) / https://doi.org/10.1080/14786419.2017.1413557
In vitro Anthelmintic Activities of Extracts and Fractions of Cosmos sulphureus Cav, Against Onchocerca ochengi / Elodie Mimi Megnigueu, Noël Jean Nyemb, Ngwafu Nancy Ngwasiri, Adeline Sabine Yadang Fanta, Francis Nveikoueing, Siméon Fogue Kouam, Dieudonné Ndjonka / Journal of Diseases and Medicinal Plants, 2020; 6(1): pp 22-230 / doi: 10.11648/j.jdmp.20200601.14 / ISSN: 2469-8202
PRELIMINARY PHYTOCHEMICAL ANALYSIS AND IN VITRO ANTIOXIDANT ACTIVITY OF  ARAUCARIA COLUMNARIS BARK PEEL AND COSMOS SULPHUREUS FLOWERS / Krishma M Jadavi, K N Ninge Gowda / International Journal of Current Pharmaceutical Research, 9(4): pp 113-120 / ISSN: 0975-7066
Plants with possible antimalarial activity gathered from ethnomedical reports published in Flora Medicinal / Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine
2′-Hydroxylated 3-Deoxyanthocyanin from the Flowers of Cosmos sulphureus Cultivars / Tsukasa Iwashina, Kotarou Amamiya, Tsunashi Kamo et al / Natural Products Communications / https://doi.org/10.1177/1934578X19876219
Antibacterial activity of Cosmos sulphureus Cavaniller (1791) leaf extract. / Venus B Ninampas, Noraine Niña Ann T Natad / Thesis/Dissertations, Pharmacy: March 2017 / University of San Carlos
Two Novel 15(10→1)Abeomuurolane Sesquiterpenes from Cosmos sulphureus / Jyh-Horng Wu, Yi-Fu Chang, Tu-Tang Tung, Minoru Tsuzuki, Akira Tzuka, Sheng-Yang Wang, Yueh-Hsiung Kuo / Helvetica Chimica Acta, 93(4) / https://doi.org/10.1002/hlca.200900290

It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page. (Citing and Using a (DOI) Digital Object Identifier)

                                                            List of Understudied Philippine Medicinal Plants

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