We were sent seeds for the plants in the picture, which were labelled as celosia argenta. We have been a very welcome addition to the flower garden. However, after going through ever bit of information with pictures we found, none had anything like this under celosia or anything else we thought it might be. They are gorgeous plants- the group shone are about 3ft.+ now with very pronounced dark reddish purple splotches on the leaves.
We sure wish these would flower so we could tell for sure. The leaves are smooth and not textured like coleus, so my guess is that is a celocia. But I haven't seen any with the leaves colored like these.
Baa, your suggestion of amaranthus is a very apt alternative to celosia or coleus, and you asked a most pertinent question about the leaves. The leaves are not entirely smooth and glossy, although not hairy and rough textured like coleus. We have grown them before, and these are not similar to any coleus we are familiar with. Although these are bi-colored, the amaranthus seems to fit the description best. But again, I guess the flower will be the only way to know for sure. Hopefully, these will flower before the frost. We'll take a picture and let everyone know what it turns out to be. Thanks everyone for the feedback!
I am following up on this thread for the benefit of everyone who tried to help with a guess at the identity of this variety of plant. See the new thread called "RE: Celosia Argenta This Isn't" for a new picture and information.