Kannapolis garden produces cockscomb flower of the ages

Published 12:01 am Friday, September 2, 2022

KANNAPOLIS — After 50 years of gardening, a woman of Kannapolis was shocked to see the end result of one of her florals this summer that had reached 3 feet in height.

Linda Barnhardt always had a love of flowers from picking them as a little girl to growing them in her front yard nowadays. This summer proved to be the most grand for her gardening after watching one of her annual cockscomb plants grow into an unusual height of 37 inches and width of 22 inches.

She has grown cockscomb flowers every spring and summer for 15 years. Sometimes she will harvest its seeds when the weather gets cooler by cutting the flower heads off and putting them into plastic grocery bags to dry. Hundreds of future cockscombs will be left at the bottom of the bag.

“She can grow a flower out of the asphalt,” said her husband, Richard.

Cockscombs have been known to grow as tall as just a few inches or to a yard stick. According to the Barnhardts, this was the largest flower they have grown.

“I can’t understand how this happened,” Linda Barnhardt said. “I thought at first it was more than one of them, but when I pulled up the leaves I found just one stem and one root.”

Her cockscombs have previously been featured in one of the flower contests at the Cabarrus County Fair where she placed second.