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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
FINNISH: Keltakosmos.
RUSSIAN: Kosmos želtyj.
SWEDISH: Gullskära.

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.

Cultivated throughout the Philippines.

• Phytochemical studies yielded 2 '-hydroxy-4,4 '-dimethoxychalcone from the flowers and quercetine and 3stigmasterol-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)

• Studies have suggested antioxidant, antimalarial, anti-icteric, antibacterial, hepatoprotective, and repellent activities.

Parts utilized

- No recorded folkloric use in the Philippines.
- Leaves and aerial parts used for intermittent fever.
- In Brazil, traditionally used for malaria. source
Dye: Flower yields a yellow dye with sunlight fastness when used on wool.

Anti-Malarial: An ethnobotanical study showed Cosmos sulphureus to have activity against Plasmodium. (1)
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 margiold, followed by cosmos, sunflower and Guinea grass for all cadmium treatments. (7)
Anti-Schitosomicidal / Antibacterial / Essential Oil: In a study scre The essential oil extracted from the flowers of B. sulphurea displays schistosomicidal properties and exhibited significant antibacterial activity. (Aguiar et al., 2013 and Ram et al., 2013) (8)


Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D.

Last Updated February 2016

Photos © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange

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 Vol.5, January – February 2006, 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

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.

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