I’d love to tell you but I’m a mute.

I have this flower in my garden.

I grew it from seed.




For alllllll to see.

So anyone passing by can admire it.

And stare at it.

And be confused by it.

At which point they inevitably ask me …

What is the name of that flower?“.


At which point I feign deafness. Or stupidity.  At the very least I pretend I only speak a very obscure version of Gnome.

I can’t tell them the name of this flower.

I know what it is.  I just can’t bring myself to tell them.

But I’ll tell you.


Try saying that to a curious 16 year old boy.

It’s actually called Celosia Cristata, but its common name is Cockscomb.  Wonder why?  This picture should shed some light on the situation.


Cockscomb On Chicken


Cockscomb.  Ick.  But I guess it’s better than Peniscomb.  Or Johnsoncomb.  Or Thatolepurplethingcomb.

It’s funny what will embarrass me (cockscomb) and what won’t (entire video of me testing a frozen yogourt tampon).  Don’t even get me started on tripping in public or going through the cash of a teenage boy with tampons in my grocery cart.

So what about you?   I’m sure there’s SOMETHING that embarrasses you.

For instance in the case of my mother, what embarrasses her …  is probably me.



  1. Leona says:

    Soooooo…. I’m guessing growing pussy willow is a no-go?

  2. Stephanie bray-voorhes says:

    @janie farmer. Please don’t be embarrassed by that question. You have gone through something and come out the other end a stronger woman for it. Please do not be embarrassed by any scar or mark you have from the experience. Each is a badge of honor, each with their own beauty because you are here to give them life. Sorry if this attention embarrasses you, but I know too many people who live their lives trying to hide their scars, and instead hide themselves from the world.

  3. vicki van alstine (@bubbleoffcentre) says:

    k, karen, this is the best post ever!!!! you crack me up! vicki :)

  4. Dawna Jones says:

    I’m not emabarrased to say anything,but my husband won’t pronounce CAULK!properly,he says it makes him feel dirty,which BTW I find kind of sexy!!!

    • Karen says:

      Dawna – I too have an issue with that at the hardware store. ~ karen

      • Karen says:

        OMG. I couldn’t even finish watching it, LOL. I hate to watch situations like that. Stresses me out. I haven’t even been able to watch any of the Borat movies because of it! It’s that whole funny/mortifying/embarassing thing. ~ karen

      • Karen says:

        OMG. I couldn’t even finish watching it, LOL. I hate to watch situations like that. Stresses me out. I haven’t even been able to watch any of the Borat movies because of it! It’s that whole funny/mortifying/embarrassing thing. ~ karen

      • Corey says:

        Sweet holy Mary! I don’t know how that salesman remained so professional! I am going to need to get my inhaler now…

  5. Jacquie says:

    A laugh riot!!! Reminds me of when I asked the very handsome young Home Depot worker guy where his seeds were ;)

  6. Ann says:

    I have always just called it Celosia. Not out of embarrassment but because Celosia is such a pretty word. I do so love the crested varieties and wish I could do better getting it to grow here.

  7. Beks says:

    That flower kind of looks like the stuck up flower with the “glasses” in “Alice in Wonderland,” who first calls Alice a *gasps in horror* weed! I can see it looking down on everything else with a condescending sneer. I suppose it has a right. It’s very pretty.

  8. Lisa says:

    I bought a bunch of this at the farmers market last year. I had never seen anything like it but until this post, still had no clue what it was called!

  9. Sherry (BTLover2) says:

    But I, for one, LOVE that word…

    Comb… :)

    You grew such a BIG one! Some might say you have a green HAND and did a good JOB…

    I’ll stop now because I’ll only take this farther into the gutter. Thanks for making my day!

  10. Brenda says:

    I grew up with southern ladies, and was told that a lady never goes into a liquor store. To this day I still am embarrassed to go into one; as if its somehow naughty to do so. I send my husband to get the hooch.

    • Bethany says:

      I’m from the south also, and I routinely take both my kids into the liquor store with me. My husband works long hours, and I can’t always get a sitter for a hooch run, y’know? The thing is, as white-trash as it makes me feel, nobody has ever given me the side-eye, except for a few childless college girls. Everyone seems to realize that there’s a good reason why I need more schnapps at 11 am, and that reason is clinging to my hip like a whiny barnacle. And hey, if a mixed drink makes me a happier, more relaxed mother, then it would be downright irresponsible NOT to go to the liquor store. :)

  11. Sara says:

    You could be all sly and just tell them it’s Roosterscomb… but I’m never sly in those situations, so I’d probably do the same as you.

  12. Kelly C. says:

    I have that stuff coming up all over the place. It really spreads. It is cool looking though.

  13. Lyn says:

    That flower is stunning! I think you should just make up a names for it, a different for everyone who asks. “Oh, you haven’t ever seen an Aviana Olea before?” “That’s the rare Exton Elias” “My favorite, the Shiloh Nouvelle”
    (those are all actually celebrity baby names…)

  14. marilyn says:

    how long do you have? just one thing? surely you jest..

  15. Janie Farmer says:

    Cockscomb, I will have to look that one up. I’m not good at growing from flower seeds. What embarrasses me is when I’m asked if I have a tattoo. I can lie but, my conscience would haunt me the rest of my life. I chose to have the ‘normal’ look after a mastectomy and implant. The aureole is tattooed around the man made nipple.

  16. mimiindublin says:

    Lol at your mother being embarrassed by you, that’s the opposite of my house!

  17. Maureen says:

    Why on earth does the word comb embarrass you?

  18. veronica sandström says:

    Hahahaha…. Say it in Swedish insted. Tuppkam :)
    Tupp=cock Kam=comb ;)

    Have a nice day…
    Veronica In Sweden. (Europe)

  19. Annette says:

    Here in South Africa we just call it Cristata. To me it looks like a piece of brain bobbing about on a plant stem….especially when they begin to turn brown.

  20. Therese says:

    A long time ago . . .sometime in the early 90’s, my boyfriend (now husband) and I went to get condoms from the supermarket. We sheepishly put other things in our basket . . . that we didn’t actually need. At the checkout the cashier held the condoms above her head and shouted into the microphone ‘price check, condoms, counter three’. Nothing else has embarrassed me since that day.

  21. Therese says:

    That is some fabulous flower – and you grew it from seed! You have earned the right to say C*ckscomb however many times you want. You see it’s embarassed me too!

  22. Gayla T says:

    You are sooooo silly! My Grandma told me it’s called that because it looks like the rooster’s hat. Cut a stalk and give it to the girls. I bet they’ll lose their little virgin minds. Now if Grandma would have told me it looked like the rooster’s cock I would have thought cock-a-doodle-do! Tampons,my grandma never talked about.

  23. lemur_lass says:

    I love cockscombs. I used yellow varieties bunched together as part of wedding centerpieces. As a florist/guest all I heard all night were questions about what the brain flowers were. They remind me for deer antlers – all velvety soft.

  24. Angela says:

    Buying pregnancy tests. Living on a military base in a foreign country means there are only 2 or 3 places to buy them and you’re bound to see someone that you know. Yes, we’re trying to get pregnant, but I don’t really want to discuss any of it with my husband’s boss…

    And buying tampons, which is why I order them online. Well, I actually do that so I can get the organic ones, but it saves me embarassment too!

  25. If I’m ever lucky enough to own a house with a garden big enough for planting I’m going to have one of these just because of the name. Sure it’s a good looking flower, but I’m immature enough that it’s the name that draws me in :)

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