Hot Summer and Kim's Knee High Echinaceas

Hot Summer and Kim's Knee High Echinaceas
Of the many Echinacea varieties that are available, some stand out from the crowd. These include Kim’s Knee High and Hot Summer echinaceas.

Hot Summer Echinacea

This hybrid variety is best suited to zones four through nine. Full sun is preferred. Hot Summer Echinacea makes a great cut flower.

The plant reaches three feet in height, and can produce blooms from mid summer into Fall. The petals are initially yellow, later deepening to orange, and finally maturing to red. The cones are dark brownish-orange.

Kim’s Knee High Echinacea

This variety of the purple coneflower was selected by North Carolina horticulturist Kim Hawks. The dwarf plant is a shorter version of the species. Grown from seeds, these plants are ideal for containers.

Kim’s Knee High Echinacea is suitable for zones three through nine. It does best in full sun to part sun. The plant only reaches a foot to 1½ feet in height.

The free flowering plants bear small flower heads. These stems make a great cut flower. Blossoms begin appearing in July and continue for months.

The petals can be clear bright pink, purple-rose, or mauve. These tend to droop with age. The centers are orange-bronze to burnt red.

Mac n’ Cheese Echinacea

Mac n’ Cheese Echinacea is part of the Prairie Stars series. This was named an award winner at the Dallas Arboretum Plant trials. Very suited to containers, this variety makes a great cut flower. The stems are medium length.

Mac n’ Cheese Echinacea does best in zones four through ten. The compact, upright, vigorous plants are well branched. This is two feet in height with a spread of 1½ feet.

The very floriferous plant bears large blooms that are 4½ inches wide. These blooms retain their color very well. They’re vivid yellow to golden yellow. The petals droop slightly as the flowers age. The cones are yellow-green.

Meringe Echinacea

The name of this variety is also spelled Merenge. The compact, upright, sturdy plant is 1¼ to two feet in height with a spread of 1½ feet. The stems are strong.

Recommended for zones three through nine, Meringe Echinacea is a free flowering plant that blooms from mid-summer into late summer. The fully double blooms feature pom-pom type centers.

The white petals are slightly droopy as they age. Initially, the cones are lime-green and later age to creamy yellow, finally maturing to pale yellow. The pom-pom is composed of crowded, fluffy, honeycomb-like tufted, very short petals that are mostly creamy white that ages to pale yellow.

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