Additional notes (click to expand)
Dr Zinn received the seeds of Zinnias from Mexico, where they were known as mal de ojos (sickness of the eyes), probably on account of their gaudy colours.
Zinnia L. Asteraceae cultivar Distribution: Southern USA to South America. Linnaeus (1753) named the genus Zinnia in honour of Dr Johann Gottfried Zinn (1727-1759), botanist, physician and anatomist. He became director of the botanical garden in Gottingen and professor of medicine. He received the seeds of Zinnias from Mexico, where they were known as mal de ojos (sickness of the eyes), probably on account of their gaudy colours. He described them shortly before his death, apparently from tuberculosis, at the age of 31 (Mark, 2009). He was a great anatomist and his book Descriptio anatomica oculi humani (1755) was the first complete study of the anatomy of the eye. In it he described the zonule of Zinn (the suspensory ligament of the lens) and the annulus of Zinn (the annular tendon which surrounds the optic nerve as it enters the orbit, and to which some oculomotor muscles are attached) which are named after him. It has no known medicinal value but was reportedly used by the Zuni and Navajo for medicines, and is regarded as non-toxic – at least to dogs and cats.
Oakeley, Dr. Henry. (2012). Doctors in the Medicinal Garden. Plants named after physicians. Royal College of Physicians. link
An upright, bushy annual bearing lightly hairy, ovate to lance-shaped leaves, to 8cm long. Zinnias are grown for their solitary, long-stemmed, daisy-like, broad-petalled scarlet flowerheads, to 4.5cm long. It grows to 70cm high by 30cm wide.
Brickell, C. (2003). A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. Dorling Kindersley. p.1099
Frost tender. Grow in fertile, humus-rich, well-drained soil in full sun. Deadhead to prolong flowering. To propagate, sow seed at 13- 18°C in early spring, or in situ in late spring. Sow in succession for a long flowering display. Pest and disease trouble free if grown in an open position to minimise attack by mildew.
Brickell, C. (2003). A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. Dorling Kindersley. p.1098
Named for Johann Gottfried Zinn (1727-1759), professor of botany, Göttingen.
Stearn, W.T. (1996). Dictionary of Plant Names for Gardeners. Cassell. p.314
Stearn, W.T. (1996). Dictionary of Plant Names for Gardeners. Cassell. p.129
Zinnia 'Elegans'Family: ASTERACEAE
Distribution summary: Northern America
Hardiness: H2 - Tender; cool or frost-free greenhouse
Habitat: Garden origin
Garden status: Not currently grown
Flowering months: September, October
Reason for growing: Commemorative