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Echinacea (eck-i-NAY-see-uh)

Common Name:  Coneflower

Light:  - Full sun to part sun

Soil:  Average to loamy, well-drained

Moisture:  Average to dry

Blooms:  Summer

Zones:  3 - 8


Echinacea 'Art's Pride' PP#15090

Echinacea 'Razzmatazz' PP#13894

Echinacea Description and Cultural Information

Echinacea angustifolia, narrow-leaved coneflower. 1 - 2'. This compact coneflower has narrow deep pink petals which droop down like a daisy. Nice in wildflower gardens.

Echinacea paradoxa, yellow coneflower. 2 - 3'. This coneflower is very fragrant with narrow yellow petals that are downturned from the brown center. The foliage is narrow, lance shaped, medium green and sligtly hairy.

Echinacea purpurea, purple coneflower. 2 - 4'. These plants have a shrubby base with long, well-branched stems that hold dozens of violet-pink flowers. 'Bright Star' is rose-pink with a maroon center. 'Alba' is white. 'White Lustre' is a larger white. 'Magnus' has large, flat flower heads of rose-pink. 'Razzmatazz' PP#13894 is a tall double blooming plant and 'Pink Double Delight' PPAF is quite similar. 'Coconut Lime' PPAF is a double blooming white.

Echinacea hybrids:  Many newer hybrids are reaching the market which have resulted from crosses and back crosses between Echinacea paradoxa and Echinacea purpurea. The first plants included the thin petaled, orange coneflower called 'Art's Pride' (trademarked 'Orange Meadowbrite') and its sibling a pale orange coneflower called 'Mango Meadowbrite'. Other plants were introduced in a group called the Big Sky series including the apricot Echinacea 'Harvest Moon' PP#17652, the yellow 'Sunrise' PP#16235, the orange turning purple 'Sunset' PP#16424, the reddish-purple 'Twilight' PP#17651, and the compact orange 'Sundown' PP#17659. Echinacea 'Tiki Torch' PPAF is another orange coneflower, one of dozens being introduced by Terra Nova Nurseries.

How to Grow:  Echinaceas are tough plants that can endure (and tend to prefer) hot and dry conditions. Plant them in average, well drained soil in full sun. Provide some good soil and a little moisture for best growth but they should be started dry and should never be wet, always allowing the soil to dry between watering. Plants will often self sow and they are usually best propagated by seeds since divided plants tend to become bushy and produce fewer flowers. Leave the seed heads standing in the fall for winter interest and to feed birds.

Landscape Uses:  Plant coneflowers with tall garden Phlox, Liatris, yarrows (Achillea), Rudbeckia, daylilies, daisies, or ornamental grasses. The orange coneflowers combine really well with purple blooming plants including hardy geraniums such as Geranium 'Rozanne' PP#12175.

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