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 – addto the soil before planting and in summer. Dead-head faded blooms and cut the 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 toothedare rough to the touch and the are excellent for . 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’