Primadonna and Ruby Giant Echinaceas

Primadonna and Ruby Giant Echinaceas
The Primadonna and Ruby Giant echinaceas deserve a spot in the garden for these are reliable, easy care, long blooming plants.

Primadonna Echinacea Series

These plants were bred from a prairie purple coneflower series. The dense, robust, vigorous plants can tolerate drought, and harsh conditions, such as hot sunny locations. Primadonna echinaceas are long lived, seed grown plants that are suited to zones three through eight.

The plants are 2¼ to 3 feet tall with a one to 1½ foot spread. Space them about 1½ feet apart in the garden. These will typically begin blooming around 4½ months from the time the seeds are sown.

Primadonna echinaceas have very large blossoms that are five to six inches wide. The cones are russet colored. There are at least three flower colors in the series. All of these are very suitable for cut flowers and dried flowers.

Primadonna Deep Rose Echinacea originated in Germany. This is tolerant of drought and heat. The very floriferous plants produce blossoms from mid summer until fall. The petals are deep rose to rose-lavender. The blooms are four to five inches across.

Primadonna White echinaces are typically 2 1/3 feet to 32 inches tall. This plant is more uniform than White Swan Echinacea. The blooms are four to five inches wide. These feature white petals that are held horizontally. The cones are dark.

Primadonna Deep Pink Echinacea is three feet tall. The flowers begin opening from mid summer onwards. The variety is named for the deep pink petals, which are held horizontally.

Ruby Giant Echinacea

This is a variety of the purple coneflower. The original plant from which this was bred was found in an European garden by the son of Magnus Nilsson and apparently originated from seeds of Ruby Star echinacea. The plant prefers full sun to part sun and is suited to zones four through nine.

Ruby Giant Echinacea is 2½ to three feet tall and almost as wide. The well branched, tall plants have strong, much branched flower stems.

Flowering all summer into fall, Ruby Giant Echinacea stems make great cut flowers. The stems are quite long. The scented, blooms are five to seven inches wide. These feature two rows of horizontal petals. The petals can be red-purple, rose-red, pink, or rose-magenta. As the flowers age, these become pinkish-red to pinkish-gray. The cones are reddish-brown.

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