Echinacea purpurea (purple cone flowers)
Echinacea purpurea (picture right) is the most widely used of the species and are widely referred to as ‘Purple Cone Flowers’ although all of purple, white and yellow species are available (yellow is very difficult to find).
Blooming in late summer, they get their name from the cone shaped flower heads which are large and bright adding great color to the perennial border and are also attractive to butterfly’s.
When planting E.purpurea or other species, look for a humus rich well drained soil in a sunny position. Care is fairly simple, keep moist in warmer months for best performance and cut back in winter as plants die back.
Growing conditions and uses in the garden
‘Purple Cone Flowers’ can be used in the garden border and make an excellent cottage garden plant, they can be grown in containers, we suggest you use a large pot as they can grow reasonably tall, they are good as cut flowers.
All Echinacea are not purple, E. purpurea alba (picture right) is the white cone flower, also known as Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’, similar growing conditions as others.
‘Magnus’ is a purple cultivar that reaches over 1m and flowers in mid summer through to spring.
Species Cultivars and division
A white species E. purpurea ‘alba’ is also available sometimes named ‘white swan’. A few named cultivars are around including E. purpurea ‘prairie splendour’, E. purpurea ‘magnus’ , and ‘ruby giant’.
Larger established clumps can be divided in early autumn while the soil is still warm, or in spring. Be gentle and careful when dividing so as not to disturb the plant to much as they resent this. Seed can be collected and sown in spring, try a cold frame in cooler areas. We divide ours every 4-5 years
They are also popular as a herbal remedy and used for a range of conditions, including as a cure for colds. The common belief is that taken regularly at the first sign of a cold echinacea will provide some relief. It is believed that echinacea can be a stimulant for the immune system, however most clinical studies have found no firm evidence of this. It is reported that echinacea may have side effects including, nausea and dizziness, so consult your doctor before using.
OTHER GARDEN PLANTS OF INTEREST
- rudbeckia plants for sale
- phlox paniculata
- russell lupins
- dodecatheon (shooting stars)
Echinacia purpurea plants and species are available to buy from the following nurseries
Large variety of Epimediums, Woodland plants and Herbaceous perennials
Mail order or nursery. We do not send to Tasmania or WA
1070 Jacksons Track, Jindivick 3818
Specialising in growing and selling Rare and Unusual Trees, shrubs Perennials Bulbs and Climbers, a unique nursery with amazing stock.
412 James Lane, Fern Hill VIC. 3458 - Phone 0419002651
Large range of Rare plants, Climbers, Bulbs, Perennials Fruit Trees, Ornamental Trees and Shrubs. Available both Retail and by Mail Order
52 Rodd St Canowindra NSW 2804
An online nursery specialising in drought and frost tolerant perennials and fragrant, edible and herbs.
PO Box 7040 Leura NSW 2780
Rare woodland plants, Trilliums Epimediums, Arisaemas, plus much more.www.lynnsrareplants.com.au