The zinnia is a native of Mexico and was cultivated in Aztec gardens, where they spared space alongside other flowers like the dahlia, sunflower and morning glory.
This was before the Spanish had conquered Mexico. The flower started becoming popular in the U.S during late 19th/early 20th century.Zinnias are cheerful flowers with a fun look, which is often compared to that of a lollipop on a stick. This is because of their straight stems, which are topped by brightly colored pom-poms. Though there are 8 to 10 varieties of zinnias known to gardeners, only one kind of zinnia has been able to generate eminence as one of the most attractive of all annual flowers. This is the scarlet-rayed zinnia. This species was introduced from Mexico in 1796. The scarlet-rayed variety came into our hands in 1829, and was thought much of, thanks to its brilliant color and stately habit.
During the fifty years that have elapsed since it first made its appearance, the scarlet-rayed zinnia has been improved in all its characters, and we now possess a race of perfectly double zinnias, the flowers of which show no central disc, but are perfect rosettes of exquisite form, available in every conceivable shade of color, except blue.
There does not exist a more striking instance of floral advancement, accomplished by systematic selection, than that offered by the zinnia, which is at once one of the largest, most various, as well as long-standing of our many good and cheap annual flowers.
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