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Purple coneflower is so easy to grow and attractive and draws so many birds and butterflies that you simply must grow it, if you have the room. Valued for its large sturdy daisylike flowers with dropping petals, this prairie native will spread easily in good soil and full sun. It is bothered by few pests or diseases. It's a great cut flower -- bring in armloads of it to brighten the house. And birds and butterflies love it. Allow it to spread so that you have at least a small stand of it. Let the flowers go to seed and the goldfinches will love you, coming to feast on the seeds daily. Butterflies and helpful bees also love purple coneflower.
It used to be that rosy purple or white were the only choices in flower color. Recent hybrids have introduced yellow, orange, burgundy, cream, and shades in between.
1 to 3 feet
1-2 feet wide
more varieties for Coneflower
'Bravado' purple coneflower
Echinacea purpurea 'Bravado' is a robust plant that grows to 4 feet tall. It bears loads of 4- to 5-inch-wide blooms that range in color from light pink to magenta rose. Petals stand out for maximum display. Zones 3-9
'Fragrant Angel' coneflower
Echinacea purpurea 'Fragrant Angel' has 5-inch-wide white daisies with an orange center cone. It grows 4 feet tall and 2 feet wide. Zones 3-9
'Green Envy' coneflower
Echinacea 'Green Envy' offers mauve-purple petals tipped in lime green. It grows 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide. Zones 3-9
Harvest Moon coneflower
Echinacea 'Matthew Saul' blooms in bright orangey-yellow with a golden-orange cone. It grows 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide. Zones 3-9
'Magnus' purple coneflower
Echinacea purpurea 'Magnus' blooms in bright rose with a brownish-red cone and petals that stand out rather than droop. It grows 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide. Zones 3-9
Mango Meadowbrite coneflower
Echinacea 'CBG Cone 3' offers peachy-yellow flowers with a slightly darker orange stem. It grows 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide. Zones 3-9
Orange Meadowbrite coneflower
Echinacea 'Art's Pride' is also sold as Art's Pride coneflower. It blooms in bright orange with dark cones and grows 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide. Zones 3-9
Pale purple coneflower
Echinacea pallida is perfectly at home in a naturalized meadow, with pale pink straplike petals and a skyrocket central cone. It grows 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide. Zones 4-8
Pixie Meadowbrite coneflower
Echinacea 'CBG Cone 2' has flat, pink, dark-eyed daisies on 18-inch-tall plants. It grows 2 feet tall wide. Zones 3-9
Echinacea purpurea offers mauve-purple flowers all summer on a 5-foot-tall, 2-foot-wide plant. Zones 3-9
'Tiki Torch' coneflower
Echinacea 'Tiki Torch' is a remarkable selection with bright orange fragrant flowers in summer and autumn. It grows 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide. Zones 4-9
plant Coneflower with
Lamb's-ears is a top pick for a groundcover in a hot, baked spot. Its silver felted foliage quickly forms a dense, delightful mat. It also contrasts nicely with other foliage and most flowers. enhances almost everything. Depending on the type and your growing conditions, it may self-sow freely to the point of becoming a bother. In hot humid climates, lamb's ears may "melt down" in summer, becoming brown and limp.A quite different but related plant, big betony is worth growing for its shade tolerance, dark green crumpled leaves, and bright purple spikes of whorled 1-inch flowers in late spring. Wood betony is similar but not as shade-tolerant.
Globe thistle is one of the most elegantly colored plants around. It has fantastical large blue balls of steel blue flowers in midsummer, which would be enough. But making it even more lovely are its large coarse, grayish-green leaves, which set off the flower beautifully.If you can bear to separate them from the foliage, globe thistle makes a great cut flower, lasting for weeks in the vase. It also dries well. It's bothered by few pests or diseases. If it likes its conditions, it will reseed fairly readily. If you want to prevent this, deadhead flowers shortly after they fade.
With its tall wispy wands of lavender or blue flowers and silvery foliage, Russian sage is an important player in summer and fall gardens. It shows off well against most flowers and provides an elegant look to flower borders. The aromatic leaves are oblong, deeply cut along the edges. Foot-long panicles of flowers bloom for many weeks. Excellent drainage and full sun are ideal, although very light shade is tolerated. Plant close to avoid staking since the tall plants tend to flop.