Tassel Flower

Emilia javanica

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Emilia (ih-MEE-lee-uh) (Info)
Species: javanica (juh-VAHN-ih-kuh) (Info)
Synonym:Emilia coccinea
Synonym:Emilia flammea
Synonym:Cacalia coccinea
Synonym:Cacalia javanica
Synonym:Emilia sonchifolia var. javanica



Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)


6-9 in. (15-22 cm)


Not Applicable

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:


Scarlet (Dark Red)



Gold (Yellow-Orange)

Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:

Blooms repeatedly



This plant is resistant to deer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Ashdown, Arkansas

Berkeley, California

El Sobrante, California

Bartow, Florida

Deland, Florida

Hawthorne, Florida

Zephyrhills, Florida

Newnan, Georgia

Barbourville, Kentucky

Silver Spring, Maryland

Allen Park, Michigan

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Cincinnati, Ohio

Dayton, Ohio

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Columbia, South Carolina

Christiana, Tennessee

Garland, Texas

Kalama, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


On May 4, 2012, nifty413 from Garland, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

This plant bloomed consistently from April to November in mixed containers with adequate water during our record-breaking drought and heat of 2011.


On Aug 13, 2009, Q734 from Allen Park, MI wrote:

I was not expecting to see this reseed itself after the harsh winter we had here in Michigan '09. While I adore this flower I see the potential for it to become weedy in spots I don't want it e.g. where the dog might eat it accidentally while grazing.

2012 update(3 years later) while we did have reseeds in following years there haven't been any this year, maybe due to drought conditions in S.E. michigan.


On Jan 19, 2005, LilyLover_UT from Ogden, UT (Zone 5b) wrote:

This is a great little self-sowing annual, blooming all summer long.


On Dec 3, 2004, boxmonkey from Gainesville, FL (Zone 8a) wrote:

Some might call this plant a weed, but I love it. It occurred naturally in my back yard and appears to be a perennial in Zone 8a. I have never had to water it, even in the dry season.
The best thing about the tassel flower by far is that it's a veritable butterfly magnet - if it's light out, there's guaranteed to be at least a few butterflies on it. A variety of different grasshopper species also seem to enjoy eating the seeds, which I don't mind because these flowers also produce seeds en masse. I'm going to plant some in my front yard soon.


On Aug 4, 2001, poppysue from Westbrook, ME (Zone 5a) wrote:

Tassel flower is an old fashioned annual with bright tufts that look a lot like a paint brush above wiry stems. Colors may include red, orange, or gold. Wonderful in a cottage garden and provides a lot of bright color through the summer. It's an easy plant to grow from seeds and may be sown directly in the garden in mid-May. For an earlier start, sow 6 weeks before your last frost date. Plant seedlings out in spring after the danger of frost has past.