This species of Cosmos is considered a half-hardyannual, although plants may re-appear via self-sowing for several years. Its foliage is opposite and pinnately divided. The plant height varies from one to seven feet. The original and its cultivars appear in shades of yellow, orange, and red. It is especially popular in Korea and Japan, where it is often seen in mass plantings along roadsides, following an initiative pursued by the Korean-Japanese botanist Woo Jang-choon.
This plant was declared invasive by the United States Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council in 1996.
Some of the varieties of Cosmos sulphureus in cultivation today include:
'Klondyke Mix' consists of a variety of colors in shades from yellow to orange and scarlet
'Ladybird Dwarf Red', 'Ladybird Dwarf Gold', 'Ladybird Dwarf Orange', and 'Ladybird Dwarf Lemon' are shorter than the species. Another cultivar is named "Bright Eyes".