Echinacea flowers

Large, daisy-like, herbaceous perennials from the American plains and prairies. The tall upright flowers are closely related to Rudbeckia and highly attractive to bees and butterflies.

Family: Asteraceae (daisy)
Botanical Name: Echinacea (eh-kee-nay-shah)
Common Names: Coneflower, purple rudbeckia, black samson.

Foliage: Coarse hairy, ovate or lance-shaped leaves. Deciduous.

Flowers: Wide rayed, daisy-like, flowers with a prominent cone-like central disc.

Flowering Period: Mid-summer to early autumn.

Soil: Well-drained, fertile soil (chalk, sand or loam). Acid, alkaline or neutral pH.

Conditions: Full sun or partial shade. Plant in an east, west or south facing aspect.

Habit: Upright, clump forming.

Type: Herbaceous perennial.

Origin: North America.

Hardiness: Hardy in the UK.

Planting and Growing Echinacea

Easy to grow. Plant in a well-drained, moderately fertile, deeply cultivated soil, in full sun. Incorporate plenty of compost or well-rotted organic matter to the soil before planting.

Ideal for flowerbeds, herbaceous borders, cottage gardens and wildlife areas.

Long-lasting as cut flowers.

Taking Care of Echinacea

Water well in dry weather. Mulch with organic matter in spring and feed in summer.

Stake tall varieties in exposed sites.

Pruning Echinacea

Dead-head regularly to prolong flowering. Cut down remaining stems in autumn.

Pests and Diseases

Generally trouble free.

Propagating Echinacea

Divide established clumps in October-March.

Sow seed in the open or under glass in spring. New plants may take two or three years to flower well.

Popular Varieties of Echinacea

A wide selection of varieties and cultivars are available.

Echinacea angustifolia (narrow-leaved coneflower) bears daisy-like flowers throughout summer with pale pink to purple rays drooping from a central orange cone. Extracts from this plant is often used in herbal medications.

Echinacea Butterfly Kisses (PBR) compact and reliable, one of the best new doubles. For sale at Crocus.

Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit Mix' the World's first wide colour ranging seed-raised Echinacea. For sale at You Garden.

Echinacea Doubledecker produces unusual double-crowned flowers. Seed for sale at Suttons.

Echinacea Flame Thrower (PBR) bears lightly scented, dark-eyed, flower heads with slender ray florets that have a rich orange base, fading to near-yellow towards the outer tips. For sale at Crocus.

Echinacea 'Green Twister' bears striking two-tone flowers of fluorescent pinky/purple, blending into striking lime-green at the tips. For sale at You Garden.

Echinacea Harvest Moon (PBR) bears beautiful soft orange daisy-like flowers. For sale at Crocus.

Echinacea Nectar Pink is a free flowering form with a compact, branching habit. Height and spread to about 18in (45cm). For sale at Suttons.

Echinacea pallida (pale purple coneflower) is a tallish form with distinctive pale pink flowers that have long drooping reflexed rays. Height to 4ft (120cm). For sale at Crocus.

Echinacea 'Parrot' new variety with bicolour bright red and yellow flowers. For sale at Thompson & Morgan.

Echinacea 'PowWow Wild Berry' bears intense deep-pink flowers with dark rose centres. For sale at Thompson & Morgan.

Echinacea 'Primadonna Rose' has flowers in a beautiful shade of rose pink. Height to 28in (70cm). For sale at Van Meuwen.

Echinacea purpurea is a vigorous, erect form with stout stems covered in rough, dark-green, lance-shaped leaves. Purple, broad petalled flowers with a raised central cone of brownish orange appear in July-September. Height 3-5ft (90-150cm), spread 1.5ft (45cm). For sale at Van Meuwen. Cultivars include:

  • 'Robert Bloom' intense rosy purple flowers.
  • 'Little Magnus' short, compact purple coneflower that is clothed in flowers in summer. Height 18in (45cm), spread 12in (30cm). For sale at Thompson & Morgan.
  • 'Magnus' purple flowers with a dark orange centre. For sale at Crocus.
  • 'Pink Parasol' large, deep purplish-pink blooms, with contrasting orange cones. Height 3-4ft (90-120cm). For sale at Thompson & Morgan.
  • 'Primadonna Deep Rose' rose pink petals surround the central cone of this pretty Echinacea all summer. For sale at Thompson & Morgan.
  • 'Rubinstern' bold, pink giant daisy type flowers in August. Height to 3ft (90cm) spread 20in (50cm). For sale at Van Meuwen.
  • 'The King' pink flowers with a brown centre.
  • 'Vintage Wine' (PBR) cheerful, deep pink flowers. For sale at Crocus.
  • 'White Lustre' creamy white flowers with an orange centre.
  • 'White Swan' white flowers with a yellow centre. For sale at Crocus.

Echinacea Sunbuzzer produces a striking fiery mix of colours from mid summer until the first frost. Height to 3ft (60cm). For sale at You Garden.

Echinacea Sundress produces sparkling, ice-white blooms, topped with a yellow and acid-green cone. Seed for sale at Suttons.