These are tough, colorful perennials from central and eastern North America. Daisylike flowers, usually with narrow, arching rays, have brownish orange, dome-shaped centers and are held on straight stems above clumps of bristly foliage. Flowers are often lightly fragrant. Generally bloom over a long period in summer (may start in spring in mildwinter climates). Flowering may continue until frost.
Use on the outskirts of gardens or in wide borders with other robust perennials. Also excellent in containers. Generally do not need staking. Perform well in summer heat (though not in the hottest desert areas, where they are mainly spring blooming). Good cut flowers.
Clumps spread slowly, become crowded after 3 or 4 years. Fleshy rootstocks can be difficult to separate; divide carefully, making sure each division has a shoot and roots. Plantings can also be increased by taking root cuttings, seeding, or transplanting self-sown seedlings.Echinacea angustifolia
Native to central North America. Prairie wildflower to 3–4 ft. high, 2 ft. wide. Flowers to 2 in. wide, with pink to rosy purple rays drooping from a purple-brown cone. Narrow, bristly leaves to 6 in. long.Echinacea hybrid
Complex crosses have produced hybrid coneflowers that are popular for their vigor and extended color range.
Complex crosses have produced hybrid coneflowers that are popular for their vigor and extended color range. ‘Green Envy’ has fragrant, lime green blooms that pick up magenta-purple near the cone as they age. The green cone also fades to purple. It grows 2–3 ft. high. ‘Mango Meadowbrite’ grows 2–3 ft. high and wide; orange-yellow petals surround orange-brown centers. ‘Orange Meadowbrite’ (‘Art’s Pride’) grows about the same size, bears reddish orange flowers. ‘Pixie Meadowbrite’ grows only about 1 1/2 ft. tall and a bit wider, with pink, nondrooping petals surrounding a yellow-brown center. ‘Tomato Soup’ has bright red flowers up to 6 in. wide on 2-ft.-high plants.‘Tiki Torch’ has bright orange to rose blooms on a 2–2 1/2-ft.-tall plant. Plants in the Big sky series grow 2–3 ft. high and 2 ft. wide; choices include butter yellow ‘Sunrise’, bright orange ‘Sunset’, and reddishorange ‘Sundown’ (‘Evan Saul’).Echinacea pallida
Native to eastern North America. Grows 3–5 ft. high, 2 ft. wide. Erect plant with narrow, lance-shaped leaves. Mauve pink flowers with slender, drooping rays appear in late summer to fall.Echinacea paradoxa
Native to the Ozarks. To 2–3 ft. high, 2 ft. wide. Drooping yellow to orange-yellow rays surround a brown cone. Flowers are about 2 in. wide. Smooth, lance-shaped leaves to 8 in. long.
Bristly, oblong, 3–4-in.-long leaves form a 2-ft. wide, dense foliage clump from which rise sparsely leafed flowering stems 3–4 ft. high. Showy, 4-in. flowers have drooping, rosy purple rays and a central orange-brown cone that resembles a beehive. If faded flowers are left in place, bristly seed heads hang on into winter; seeds are favored by finches.
Bristly, oblong, 3–4-in.-long leaves form a 2-ft.-wide, dense foliage clump from which rise sparsely leafed flowering stems 3–4 ft. tall. showy, 4-in. flowers have drooping, rosy purple rays and a central orange-brown cone that resembles a beehive. If faded flowers are left in place, bristly seed heads hang on into winter; seeds are favored by finches. Many fine varieties are available.'Coconut Lime'
‘Coconut Lime’ is a doubleflower, with a single row oflarge white petals surroundinga tuft of smaller light greenpetals around the cone. Grows to 2–3 ft. high.'Doubledecker' (‘Doppelganger’)
‘Doubledecker’(‘Doppelganger’), another2-footer, has something extra:a second set of pink petalsemerging from the top of thecone.'Mango Meadowbright'
Grows 2–3 ft. high and wide. Orange-yellow petals surround orange-brown centers.'Pixie Meadowbright'
Just 1 1/2 ft. tall and a bit wider, with pink, nondrooping petals surrounding a yellow-brown center.
Deep rose-pink, fragrant flowers on a bushy plant 2 1/2 ft. tall and 2 ft. wide.Orange Meadowbright
To 2–3 ft. high and wide; bears reddish orange flowers.Sundown
Grows 2–3 ft. high and 2 ft. wide, with fragrant reddish orange flowers.
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