Sunday, July 4, 2010

Purple Coneflower

These days everyone is going crazy for the new colors of echinacea.  The purple coneflower is no longer purple!  I've heard bad reports on the performance of many of these new-colored plants, so I've stuck with the old stand-by "Magnus."  This is a proven performer that simply does its job of staying healthy and pumping out loads of lavender blooms.

This first picture shows the healthy growth on a plant in April before the blooms start.  It's an attractive plant even without the flowers.  I have this one growing in a butterfly bed, along with Homestead Purple verbena, Royal Red buddleia, Jacob Kline monarda, and verbena bonariensis.  This bed is a magnet for all types of butterflies as well as hummingbirds.  Echinacea is also quite popular with finches when the seed-heads ripen.

This shows a Magnus bloom as it first starts to turn purple.  The petals have this quill-like look when they first form. 

Here is Magnus in full bloom with a friendly bumblebee coming over for a visit.  As mentioned before, this is one of the top wildlife attractors that you can plant in a flower bed. 

The blooms last for many days on the plant.  If you deadhead, it will put out even more blooms.  The bloom season lasts for months.  I recommend leaving at least some of the seed heads on for the birds and to save some seeds of your own for either passing along to others or to plant for yourself.  This light shade of purple is a perfect mix in the cottage garden.  Give some love to the old-fashioned PURPLE coneflower!  Don't forget that this plant reliably returns every year, which makes it even more attractive.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The heads of my coneflowers are surrounded by leaves. It looks embedded no room for bloom is this a problem.