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Echinaceas for the Garden


The echinaceas or coneflowers are very popular garden plants. The most beloved is the purple coneflower.

These are a favorite for wildflower gardens. In addition, these are suitable for flower beds, mixed borders, butterfly gardens, and prairie
gardens.

These plants are deer resistant. They tolerate salty conditions as well as alkaline and clay soils.


Recommended Species

Pale coneflower reaches three to four feet tall with a width of one foot. This is noted for its drooping petals. When the flowers first emerge, they’re purplish-rose, fading to light pink. This is hardy to zone four.

Purple coneflower is the most common species in cultivation. It goes by several other names, including Black Sampson and hedgehog coneflower. Hardy to zone three, this reaches two to four feet in height. It has a 1½ foot spread. This has the typical pinkish-purple petals and orange-brown cones. It is native to the eastern U.S. It typically occurs in dry open woods, prairies, and fields. Many cultivars and varieties are available, including the following.

Magnus was named the 1998 Perennial Plant of the Year by the Perennial Plant Association. This cultivar has a uniform growth habit. The flowers, which have overlapping petals, are unusually brightly colored—a pinkish-red. This cultivar, which reaches 3¼ feet in height, tends to be long lived and very floriferous.

Tennessee coneflower can reach two to three feet in height. This occurs in the Southeast, and is considered an endangered species. The blooms are pink. It isn’t as vigorous as the other purple coneflowers. It is hardy to zone three.

Narrow leaved coneflower is two feet tall and a foot wide. Also known as purple daisy, this is most common in the prairie with its range extending into Texas. It isn’t well adapted to the eastern U.S. The flowers are purplish-rose. This is hardy to zone four.

Smooth coneflower is similar to purple coneflower. It is found in the East. This has pinkish-purple flowers.

One of the most unusual coneflowers is the yellow-flowering species (Echinacea paradoxa). Doubtless, the Latin name refers to the paradoxical or strange flower color. This is found from Missouri and Kansas into Texas. I would suspect this was the species used to breed Orange Meadowbrite.



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Content copyright © 2014 by Connie Krochmal. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Connie Krochmal. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Connie Krochmal for details.

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