I have to confess I don’t have just one favourite plant – I have dozens. And the list changes every year depending on things as mundane as the weather (too dry to produce many flowers, or, so dry the whole plant just dies) or as esoteric as did I grow it from seed (or it was given by a friend or relative).
In mid July there are quite a few favourites – one of them is Echinacea purpurea – Purple Coneflower. It has lively purple or white (the alba variety) large daisy-like flowers, self seeds readily and transplants easily. Best of all, bees and other bugs love its pollen and nectar. If it’s happy in its location it can get quite tall so needs to be either near the back of a border or in the midst of other tallish things.
- Echinacea purpurea alba
My newest heartthrob though is Echinacea pallida – Pale Purple Coneflower. I started these indoors from seed two winters ago; last year I planted them out – kinda spindly looking things with short narrow leaves.
Echinacea pallida the first yeat – longish narrow leaves very different from E. purpurea
No sign of a flower at all. They survived the drought though, with minimal watering, so that made me happy.
Echinacea pallida July 2 2017
This year they exploded – almost literally – sending up first much larger leaves and then enormous stalks topped with a beautiful and delicate flower. Much like the Purple Coneflower, except it differs by having narrower petals that droop down instead of pointing out like a daisy.
Also, the flower stalk itself is many inches long, making it perfect for cutting.
Ti top it off, as the Missouri Botanical Garden plant page says, this native plant can: “tolerate Deer, Drought, Clay Soil, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil.”
In other words, this perennial is perfect for my garden and also for many other gardens in the County!
Let me know if you’re interested in growing these yourself – I’ll try to harvest and save you some seeds.
Echinacea pallida July 8, 2017