What are zinnias

   Zinnias are brightly-colored flowers that came from Mexico and the southwest part of the United States. They are called composite flowers because the parts that look like colored petals are small flowers. The small flowers are grouped to make a flowerhead.
   The stem is stiff and hairy, and the leaves are rough and somewhat sticky. The flowers range in color from scarlet, salmon, rose, purple, orange, and yellow, to white. Moths and butterflies pollinate zinnias. Zinnias also attract hummingbirds.
   The California giant zinnias grow to three feet. Flowers of the giant zinnias often exceed six inches across. Zinnias grow well in ordinary well-drained soil with full sun. They grow easily from seeds which germinate in five days. The seeds can be started in a cold frame and transplanted later to open ground.
   Dwarf zinnias make attractive border plants. If the flower heads are removed before seeds are formed, the plant will continue to bloom. The double zinnia is of French origin.