Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’

Echinaceas are irresistible and this pure white flowered seed grown plant even turns it up with a soft, sweet fragrance. Echinaceas in our climate thrive but they need to have the proper beginning and soil to really work their charms. To 30″ tall and forming spreading clumps, regular water – once a week for the first year is critical. Also, I’ve had great luck amending the soil with a little gravel added to the compost that I dig in. It seems they really need a good start to perennialize and expand. In subsequent years only occasional water is necessary. Also necessary is total and complete sunshine. That seems to gird them to establish too. So, no fudging with shade. This single flowered form is pollinator magnet and you’ll find a host of native bees and  bee friends visiting the flowers. It also makes a great container plant and will happily over winter no problem.  ‘White Swan’ has been a Xera favorite for years. Great, long lasting cut flowers (Surprise).  Long lived low care spectacular perennial.  Moderate deer resistance. July to mid September. Remove spent flowers and more will often follow.

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Echinacea purpurea ‘Prima Donna Deep Rose’

Echinaceas have been bred, crossed and pretty much turned into mums. There is no doubt that the straight species and those closest to  it are the easiest and longest lived plants. This seed strain of Echinacea purpurea displays all the best traits of the species, Large deep rose reflexed petals around an orange/brown fragrant cone. Echinacea in our climate requires regular irrigation for the first two years to establish. Its critically important in the first year. Full sun and rich soil that drains with regular irrigation. Wonderful border perennial and even cut flower. Blooms late June to late August The spent flowers may be left to feed overwintering birds, the stems turn deep black and are  handsome as well. I’ve had excellent luck adding a handful of all organic fertilizer (dry) to the hole before planting. This helps the plant establish faster and in time it will require much less water. To 3′ tall and forming an enlarging clump. Moderate deer resistance. Native to the plains/midwest US. Fragrant. ( We don’t grow any double Echinacea because they are worthless to pollinators.)

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Echinacea x 'Green Twister'

Echinacea x ‘Green Twister’

There are SO MANY Echinaceas its hard to sort the best from the chaff. We love this unique coneflower with sophisticated flowers of pea green and pink with a central warm honey colored cone. To 2′ tall and forming expanding clumps. Rich, WELL DRAINED soil with regular H20 for the first several years. After that it seems to be much more established and requires quite a bit less. Full sun to the very lightest shade. Very groovy, fragrant cut flower and removing spent flowers will lengthen the bloom season which begins in June and sputters out in September. Echinaceas can be a little tricky to establish. What they love is the combination of rich and WELL drained soil. So, incorporate ample amounts of compost and cut it w/ a lot of pumice. Water regularly but never boggy. Butterflies adore this flower and use the blooms as a conspicuous landing pad. Leave the spent flower seeds over the winter, mine have provided food for a number of species. Seedheads turn a handsome black. Moderate deer resistance.

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Echinacea x 'Cheyenne Spirit'

Echinacea x ‘Cheyenne Spirit’

We love this seed strain of Echinacea the least of which is that they seem to establish and over winter in a superior way.  Multiple colors in these hybrids from reds to orange and yellow. large up facing flowers with a central fragrant yellow cone. Clump forming perennial for rich soil that is very well drained with consistent light irrigation in summer. Blooms naturally appear fro July to September- and occasionally longer. Remove spent flowers and more will likely appear. Great pollinator plant. Awesome cut flower. Over winters better if there is plenty of oxygen incorporated in the soil. Mulch annually with compost. Full sun to light shade. Excellent in our region on slopes.

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