Plant Profile: Echinacea
The Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) is a perennial flower native to the open wooded areas in eastern and central North America. It is a favorite plant for pollinators from bees to butterflies. They are wonderful as cut flowers for arrangements and are a great low-maintenance choice for the landscape.
Due to new breeding programs, coneflowers have exploded in popularity with a diversity of flower colors, shapes, and sizes. The straight species is a rosey-purple, but new cultivars now come in a wide choice of colors ranging from bright shades of orange and yellow, soft whites and greens, and brilliant hues of pinks and purples.
The new selections also have unique flower forms such as double-petaled flowers and more dwarf, compact plants suitable for container gardens.
A few selections I especially like include ‘Green Envy’, ‘Cheyenne Spirit’, ‘and ‘Pixie Meadowbrite’.
Echinacea prefer full sun and well-draining soil, but can tolerate part-sun and clay soils. They will bloom from early summer through frost. Frequent deadheading (removing the spent flowers) will promote re-blooming for your coneflowers.
At the end of the growing season, leave some coneflowers up to go to seed. They provide food for the migrating birds and for native beneficial insects, who spend the winter inside the hollow stems, they provide a cozy home.
The video was produced by Washington Gardener Magazine.
It was shot and edited by intern Alexandra Marquez.
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