zinnia, any species of the genus Zinnia of the family Asteraceae ( aster family), native chiefly to Mexico, though some range as far north as Colorado and as far south as Guatemala. The common zinnia of gardens ( Z. elegans ), called also youth-and-old-age, is a rather coarse, easily cultivated annual, popular as a cut flower for its warm colors—ranging from white and yellow to red and purple—and for its bold, stiff aspect. There are various forms in cultivation, including dwarfed, curled, and double varieties. The zinnia is the state flower of Indiana. Zinnias are classified in the division Magnoliophyta , class Magnoliopsida, order Asterales, family Asteraceae.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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