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Genus Focus
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01/04/2021
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Spotlight On: Echinacea

Common name: Coneflower

Overview 

This week, we’re talking all things Echinacea! This popular genus makes a wonderful addition to a landscape. Its long flowering season of daisy-like flowers can be enjoyed from summer to autumn. Upright in habit, the flowers of this herbaceous perennial are held atop sturdy and erect stems, which rise above a background of foliage. Ideal for planting in beds and borders, Coneflower is well suited to cottage, prairie, and wildlife gardens. They offer incredible diversity, pleasing with delightful colour palettes and single or double varieties.

What Features Will Echinacea Bring to a Garden?

Pollinator-Friendly 

Echinacea is beloved by gardeners and pollinators alike. Their flowers are irresistible to butterflies and bees, who are drawn to the plant for its pollen and nectar offering. Their cone-shaped flower heads, which give the common name of Coneflower, are attractive to birds, who will feed on their seeds.

Picture Perfect Prairie-Style Planting

Prairie-style planting schemes combine ornamental grasses with late-flowering perennials, creating a naturalistic and relaxed feel, with the addition of soft movement. Achievable in smaller gardens in borders, or planted on a larger scale for maximum impact, no such scheme is complete without Echinacea. A core component to prairie gardens, Echinacea adds cheerful colour to a scheme, perfect for planting in drifts amongst other plants.

Beautiful Blooms

Thanks to the Prairie planting trend, the popularity of Echinacea has increased, leading to an increase in varieties. With an array of forms and colours, you are spoilt for choice!

Echinacea ‘Irresistible’ has a double-flowered form, in a spectacular orange-pink hue. For a simpler, yet distinct, look, opt for a single flower variety like Echinacea ‘White Swan’, with drooping white petals and a prominent yellow centre.

For pretty blooms that add interest to patios, dwarf varieties like the compact Echinacea ‘Rosita’, with light pink flowers, are ideal.

Freshly Cut Flowers 

Not just for the garden! Echinacea makes attractive cut flowers, to be enjoyed inside as well as out. Once cut, they can last for up to 2 weeks in a vase. When they are past their best and petals begin to fall, the ornamental cones are the perfect addition to a dried flower arrangement.

Care guide 

This clump-forming perennial is easy to grow, performing best in full sun or light shade. They thrive in sunny positions, where they will flower freely, in a well-drained soil.

Although low maintenance, deadheading the flowers can help to prolong the already long flowering season of Echinacea, encouraging new growth. Leaving some of the flowers to dry and go to seed is beneficial, as it will provide birds with a valuable food source. This also allows the plants to self-seed, growing more blooms the next flowering season.

Fully hardy and sturdy, their stems rarely need to be staked.

 

For long flowering blooms that are attractive to wildlife and easy to care for, look no further than Echinacea.

Happy Gardening!