Gardening Tips and Highlights

Echinacea: Reasons to grow them

Commonly known as coneflower, Echinacea is a delightful addition to any garden in USDA Zones 3-8.

The common name comes from the cone-shaped central disc that stands out prominently among the single layers of petals. The petals themselves are slightly reflexed or droopy, a common characteristic shared by most Echinacea species. Purple coneflower or E. purpurea is the most well-known of coneflower species, but you can find several other species and hybrid varieties.

Echinacea flowers are bold and beautiful. The tall clumps stand erect, holding large, single flowers well above the foliage. The daisy-like flowers may be 4-6 inches across, and are long-lasting both on the plant and as a cut flower. You have several color and form variations to choose from. The purplish pink flowers that are commonly seen, are not the only ones. E. Paradox, has yellow flowers, while E. pallida flowers are a very light pink.

Over the last few years, many new varieties in attractive shades and flower forms have been developed. Hybrids in various shades of peach, pinks, orange, and even red are available. Pure white and greenish white coneflowers are there, along with creams, cream-pinks. They attract pollinators to your garden, and they have a long blooming season in summer that stretches into fall.

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