Purple Coneflower

Scientific Name:  Echinacea purpurea

Light:  Full sun to part shade

Zone:  3 to 9

Height:  2 to 5 feet

Width:  1.5 to 2 feet

Flowers:  June to August, purplish-pink

Fruit/Seed:  seed, summer into winter

Fall Color:

Butterflies:  attracts

Birds:  If flower heads are not removed, the blackened cones may be visited by goldfinches or other birds that feed on the seeds.

Hummingbird:

Deer Resistant:  Yes

Insects/Pollinators:  Attracts

Native:  Carroll County and other counties throughout Maryland

Idea Garden:

Propagation:  Sow at 68ºF, if no germination in 3-4 weeks, move to 24-39ºF for 2-4 weeks.

Description

Purple coneflower is a popular plant often grown in home gardens for its showy flowers. It can be used in pots, as accents in flower beds, or as borders.  Good fresh cut or dried flower.

Eastern purple coneflower will attract insects and butterflies when in bloom. The dead flower stems will remain erect well into the winter and the blackened cones may be visited by goldfinches or other birds that feed on the seeds

Divide clumps when they become overcrowded (about every 4 years). Plants usually rebloom without deadheading and will freely self-seeds.

Cultivars / Varieties

There are many varieties of echinacea purpurea, just a few are listed below.  In addition to E. purpurea, there are many more varieties of cone flowers in the species E. tennesseensis, E. pallida and their crosses.

For more information on Echinacea varieties review local trials.  Mt. Cuba Center in Delaware conducted an Echinacea trial in 2007 to 2009.  Penn State has also included echinacea in their flower trials.

Avalanche – 2008 introduction.  18″; white with green center.

Baby Swan Deep Pink – 18-20″; Compact, well branched, ideal for containers. Broad deep pink petals, copper-coned. Ideal for containers, front of border and cutting.

Baby Swan White – 18″; Uniformly compact and well branched, reselected top quality strain for container & bedding. Broad horizontal white petals, golden-coned.

Bravado –  32″; Showy 4 to 5 inch bright rose-purple flowers w’ broad horizontal petals, copper-coned.  Long lasting, productive cut flower.   

Doubledecker –  3 feet; developed from an unusual mutation in Germany. A pink coneflower with a unique double-layer bloom.  First year blooms resemble traditional pink coneflowers, but beginning in the second growing season, a second layer of shorter petals appear. It has a long bloom period from late spring to late summer.

Double Scoop – 24 – 26″; lush, double-petaled flowers. ‘Double Scoop Cranberry’  clear red;  ‘D.S. Bubblegum,’ deep pink center  framed by baby pink, flared ray petals;  ‘Orangeberry,’ brilliant orange-red; ‘Raspberry’  raspberry rose.

Feeling Pink – Fleuroselect Medal 2016, 20″ spreading 16″; First Year Flowering.  rich pure-pink with golden globe shaped cones. flowering May t0 frost. Shorter habit, strongly branched and bushy with abundant flowers. Great commercial appeal, strong landscape performance in containers or knee-high gardens.

Feeling White –  16″ container, 18″ garden; First Year Flowering. Floriferous and compact. Large pure white petals with golden cones. For containers or borders.

Fragrant Angel –  48″. part of the Prairie Pillars™ Series.  large white daisy-like flowers with a striking golden-orange central cone, and petals that stand out horizontally rather than curving downward.

Greenline – 18 – 24″; relatively early bloomer, producing flowers in June to August. It grows 18 to 24 inches in height

Green Twister – 40″; First Year Flowering.  Petals start pure lime green with narrow band of carmine red at base and a few with yellow edges. The Carmine zone increases so that older blooms will have a large neon-carmine zone with distinct band of green at edges. Large golden cones mature to mahogany.

Happy Star –  formerly Lucky Star,  40″; Bright white flowers w/ horizontal petals, goldenconed. Upright stems. A sturdy, long-lived variety, vigorous in the landscape. Excellent for cutting & containers.

Kim’s Knee High – 12-18″; resembles traditional purple coneflower except shorter.

Leuchtstern (Bright Star) –  3 ft; Downturned petals, large bright rose-purple flower used for cut flower, especially for the cones.

Magnus –  3 ft; Horizontal rose-purple petals, copper-coned centers.

Magnus Superior  – 40″; Deep, brilliant carmine red, broad horizontal overlapping petals, red-gold cones. Dark stems and deep green leaves. Good cut flower.

Mellow Yellows – 32″; First Year Flowering; Novelty colors including white centers with yellow and light yellow tips, butterscotch, neon orange shades, all with dark golden cones. good cut flower.

PowWow White – 16-20″; First Year Flowering. Pure white petals, golden-coned.  More flowers per plant than any other seed variety.

PowWow Wild Berry – All American Selection 2011. 16-20″; First Year Flowering.  Fast blooming, high bud count, intense rose flowers, copper-coned centers.

Prairie Splendor Deep Rose – 24″; FleuroSelect Medal. First Year Flowering. Early flowering w/ extended flowering period; bright rose flowers with copper-coned centers.

Prairie Splendor Rose Compact -14 -16″; First Year Flowering.  Warm rose pink. Extra early flower time,

Primadonna Deep Rose – 30″; Deep rose colored petals surrounding golden copper cones. Good cut flower

Primadonna White – 30″; Pure white colored petals surrounding golden copper cones. Good cut flower.

Razzmataz – 32 – 36″ double coneflower. Instead of a central cone, each flower has a dome covered with short petals, surrounded by a skirt of longer petals.  bright pink, and the plant grows 32 to 36 inches tall.

Rubinstern (Ruby Star) –  3 ft; Improved over Magnus for uniformity of horizontal petals and intense deep rose petals.

White Swan – 28″; Horizontal white petals, golden-coned centers.

Source.

Eastern Purple Coneflower – USDA Plant Fact Sheet

Purple Coneflower – Missouri Botanical Garden

Purple Coneflower – Maryland Biodiversity Project

Recommended for Wildlife by

For the Birds, Butterflies & Hummingbirds:  Creating Inviting Habitats – Virginia Extension

Top Nectar Plants, Piedmont (Central Maryland) by North American Butterfly Association

Creating a Wild Backyard – Hummingbirds, Butterflies & Bees – Maryland DNR

Some Favorite Nectar Plants – Washington Area Butterfly Club

Butterfly Gardening in the DC Area – Washington Butterfly Club

10 Plants for a Bird Friendly Yard – National Audubon

Photos

Nancy Bittler

 

Additional information

Zones

Zone 5, Zone 6, Zone 7, Zone 8

Light

Part Sun, Sun

Soil

Clay, Dry, Loam, Moist

Flower Color

Pink, Purple

Flower Season

Summer

Fruit Season

Fall, Summer

Wildlife Value

Beneficial Insects, Butterfly Host, Deer Resistant, Food for Birds, Nectar

Notable Features

Containers, Cut Flowers, Erosion Control, Humidity Tolerant, Long Blooming, Winter Interest

Native

Carroll, Coast, Mountain, Piedmont

Local Availability

Available, Widely Available

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