Stiffly branching plants to 12 ft. tall, 1 ft. wide, covered in summer and fall with rounded, papery, cloverlike flower heads 341 in. wide. These are easy to dry, retaining color and shape for winter arrangements. Narrow, oval leaves are 24 in. long. Drought tolerant and easy to grow; rarely bothered by pests, including deer. It's easy to harvest seeds from the faded flowers and save them for planting next year; start indoors or sow in place after soil has warmed in spring.
G. 'Fireworks'. Annual. Vigorous, fast-growing plant to 4 ft. high and nearly as wide. Strong stems are topped by 1-in. pom-pon blooms. Each hot pink petal is delicately tipped in yellow.
G. globosa. Annual. From Central America. White, pink, lavender, or purple flower heads on 1- to 2-ft. stems. Plants in the QIS series can reach 30 in. tall, with large flowers in the full range of colors. 'Strawberry Fields' has hot red, 12-in. blossoms on 2-ft. stems. Plants in the Audray series grow at least that tall, with flowers in a range of colors including bicolor rose (pink with white tip). The Las Vegas series (1620 in. tall) works well in borders or containers; available in pink, purple, and white. Dwarf selections for use as edging or bedding plants include 9-in. 'Buddy' (purple) and 'Cissy' (white). All types can be planted closely in large containers for a long-lasting living bouquet.
G. haageana. Perennial treated as annual. From southern U.S., Mexico. Heads of tightly clustered, bright orange bracts resembling inch-wide pinecones are borne on 2-ft. stems. Tiny yellow flowers peek from the bracts. Often sold as 'Haageana Aurea' or orange gomphrena.
G. 'Pink Zazzle'. Annual. Oversized bright pink flowers reach 3 in. wide on a plant 12-16 in. tall.