ECHINACEA Purple Coneflower

Echinacea is a reliable late-flowering perennial which is closely related to Rudbeckia. The kinship is clearly seen at the centre of each large Daisy-like flower – there is a prominent cone-like central disc. The difference lies in the colour of the petals – yellow or orange is the basic colour of Rudbeckia but it is rose or purple in Echinacea. An easy plant to grow but a hungry one – add compost to the soil before planting and feed in summer. Dead-head faded blooms and cut the stems down to ground level at the end of the season.

VARIETIES: E. purpurea is the species grown in the garden. Basic details are height 3-4 ft. Spacing 2 ft.

Flowering period: July-October. The toothed leaves are rough to the touch and the flowers are excellent for cutting. The usual variety is ‘The King’ – 4 ft tall with drooping, dull pink petals around the central cone. Bressingham Hybrid’ (3 ft) is brighter and there is also a white-petalled variety with a yellow cone – ‘White Lustre’.

SITE AND SOIL: Any well-drained garden soil will do – thrives best in full sun.

PROPAGATION: Divide clumps in spring.

E. purpurea The King’

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