Microsoft word - catch the coneflower craze 4-2005.doc
From Perennial Notes
, Newsletter of the Wisconsin Hardy Plant Society, April 2005
Catch the Coneflower Craze!
As new varieties of plants are promoted in gardening magazines, catalogs and at our local garden centers, many ofus compile a list of some of the treasures that we’d like to try. The annual number of new plant introductions isstaggering, and typically our biggest limitation in acquiring these plants is our budget. While some gardenerscompete to be the first “on the block” to have a new, typically exotic, plant variety, don’t forget to remember theimportance and applicability of our native plants in our ornamental landscapes. Native trees, shrubs and perennialshave become more available and are increasingly being targeted by plant breeders for development into interestingand/or improved varieties for our landscapes.
A trend that you may have noticed over the past couple of years is the breeding development of our native,perennial coneflowers (Echinacea) for the gardening market. While the purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea
)has historically been popular in perennial gardens, new selections from this species, combined with the
hybridization or combination with otherspecies and varieties have created a widerange of choice selections that will thrive
HYBRIDS AND VARIETIES OF ECHINACEA PURPUREA
CULTIVAR HEIGHT NOTES
cerise-pink blooms, strong grower
downward facing, creamy white petals
pure white flower petals around gold dome center
and have a wide distribution in the United
Orange Meadowbrite, tangerine blooms,
States and Canada. There are nine species
of Echinacea located across North America
lavender-purple blooms, mid-height
large, bright pink flowers
although the largest native populations can
dark, purple-red flower petals
compact plant, creamy-white flower petals
pink blooms, second petal layer 2nd year
two-tiered pink petal layers 2nd year, interesting
Greek echinos, meaning "sea urchin" or
rosy-pink blooms on mid-size plant
"hedgehog," a reference to the prickly
shaggy pink petals, very fragrant!, compact
scales of the seed head in the center of the
creamy white blooms, copper orange cone
clear white blooms, very fragrant!
magenta blooms, green centers, fragrant!
) is the most popular
compact dwarf, fragrant pink blooms!
of the garden species and, along with some
pink blooms, second layer of petals on top
white petals surrounding green center
Kim’s Knee High
dwarf, drooping pink petals, fragrant
framework for aggressive breeding that has
dwarf, drooping creamy-white petals
created many garden-worthy specimens.
dwarf, reddish-pink blooms, fragrant!
pure white thru purple to deep red shades
tall, clear purple blooms, award-winner
Coneflowers typically range in height from
12" to 48". They bloom throughout the hot
mango-yellow blooms, fragrant!
summer, enjoy full sun situations and are
drooping rose-pink petals
very drought-tolerant once established.
drooping petals, rosy-pink color
compact dwarf, rigid yellow blooms
magenta blooms, variegated foliage!
once established. The flower petals of these
lavender-rose blooms, 6" wide flowers, showy!
double, “pom-pom” pink blooms
"daisy-shaped" blooms can curve upwards,
upright petals in purple-rose shades
purple-red blooms, petals drooping from center
"architecture" of these blooms has become
huge pink blooms,upcurved petals
horizontal reddish-purple petals
a very important feature of the plant.
mix of pink and white shades, all with gold cone
Butterflies and other wildlife also utilize
frosted white foliage, fragrant pink blooms!
semi-double, rosy-red blooms thru summer
carmine-rose flowers, horizontal petals, sturdy
buttery-yellow blooms, fragrant!
medicinal use for Echinacea that continues
vibrant orange blooms, fragrant!
rich crimson-purple blooms, very dark center
large, rose-red blooms, sturdy grower
throughout the world utilizing this herb as
reddish-purple blooms on strong grower
white petals surrounding orange center
white blooms, dark center, fragrant!
The Echinacea breeding and trialing programs have been focusing on crossing various species and varieties tocreate new flower colors, shorter plants, interesting flower shapes, sweet fragrance and now, variegated foliage!Coneflowers, once simply purple, white and occasionally the rare yellow, now come in shades or rose, pink, cream,white, wine-red, yellow and orange. There are many shades in between, and lots more to come. This coneflowercraze is showing no signs of slowing up and will continue to offer the home gardener many options for enjoyingthese Echinacea varieties. See the accompanying chart to see some of the wonderful varieties and hybrids thatoriginate from our native Echinacea purpurea. While these traits may affect your selection of a particular variety, allof these plants have the same tough disposition and can be a great addition to your garden. Consider being part ofthe coneflower craze this year and realize that the excitement is just beginning!
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