This Flower Smells Like Chocolate, and It Is One of the Rarest in the World

published Aug 13, 2022
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You would typically find chocolates inside the fridge, but who knew you could also find chocolates in the garden?

Chocolate Cosmos (Cosmos atrosanguineus) is a rare flower that you’d gladly stop and smell, seeing as its most distinct feature is that it has a chocolate scent. With velvety-red petals and a center that’s nearly black, the flower easily reminds people of different desserts.

“While some get a sense of red velvet cake, its fragrance reminds me of rich chocolate and the smell of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies — it is irresistible!” Valerie Ghitelman, VP of Product Development and Design, at, told Southern Living.

Its appetizing scent is caused by the presence of vanillin, an organic compound that’s also present in cocoa. But, unlike actual chocolates, the Mexican perennial enjoys the heat, and its fragrance is most pronounced during warm days. 

Unfortunately, the flower is one of the rarest in the world, as it’s been extinct in the wild for over 100 years now. The good news is that many gardeners have it in their yard. If you’re planning on growing them too, here are some tips:

“These beautiful flowers are somewhat fragile and delicate. As they develop, they become top heavy and tend to droop slightly,” said Ghitelman. “To keep them upright, it is best to arrange these deep crimson beauties with a sturdy companion such as hydrangea.”  

They added: “For a truly mesmerizing bouquet, build the arrangement with stems of billowy, green ornamental grasses.”

Also, be sure to place their containers by a window so you can sniff them more often.