Saturday, September 1, 2012

Want Colorful Blossoms from Summer to Fall?

Echinacea purpurea 'Magnus'

In my humble opinion, every garden needs a few coneflowers. They bloom all summer, are deer resistant, and tolerate poor soil and dry conditions. And butterflies love them!

These plants are easy to grow - give them full sun and they will reseed and bloom for years on end.

Now the only question is should you deadhead or leave them alone? Deadheading will often bring another flush of blooms. Or you can leave the flower to go to seed for the goldfinches in the winter.
I don't remember the name of this cultivar

The name, Echinacea, comes from the Greek echinos meaning "hedgehog." Coneflowers belong to the family Asteraceae, which includes dandelions, black-eyed Susans, and Shasta daises.

Don't like the old fashioned floppy purple coneflower? Don't worry you can find coneflowers that have double flowers, are low growing, or have petals that stand up and in any color your little heart desires.

Echinacea "Summer Sky"
And they have enticing names like: coconut lime, green envy, green jewel harvest moon, hot papaya, milkshake, razmatazz, hope, Kim's mop head, fragrant angel, merlot, mistral, prairie splendid deep rose, summer sky, double delight, pink poodle, raspberry truffle, flamethrower, Mac n Cheesse, now cheesier and tiki torch to name a few.

'Pow Wow Wild Berry'

Not a clue as to the name of this one
Purple coneflower is  also known as a herb for stimulating the the immune system.  Echinacea has a rich tradition of use by North American Plains Indians who used it medicinally more than any other plant.  Now you can buy it in pill form at your local drug store.

So this winter as you sit by the fire with hot cocoa in hand and dream of gardening come spring, make plans to add a few Echinaceas.


  1. I love the coneflowers too. Unfortunately, I had to pull some of them this year because they had the aster yellows, a disease. Made me sad. Still there are several different ones in the lower garden. Could your one coneflower be Echinacea pallida? It has narrow petals.~~Dee

  2. I bet that is what it is, Dee. Thanks! I am also on task to ask a lot of my friends, bloggers, etc. what their favorite color combinations in the garden are. Yours?