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Echinacea purpurea

Echinacea purpurea
purple coneflower
Two first-year plants, flowering out of sync with their older brethren, in late October
Echinacea purpurea
Offspring from 'Doppleganger'

Common name purple coneflower
Family asteraceae
Life cycle perennial
Flowers purple
Size 3-4 ft
Light full sun
Cultural notes not fussy, drought-tolerant
From seed Self-seeds in our garden. For starting indoors, give two months cold, then germinate at room temperature.
detailed seed-starting info below
Seed ripenslate October

Native prairie plant. Cone-shaped flowers fade to black seed heads which persist into fall - birds love them! Through the years we've tried several named varieties, purchased as plants from nurseries - and even more seed-grown varieties, sprouted from seeds labeled with their parents' names. Unfortunately, those seeds seldom come true, so for the most part we just have a whole bunch of purple coneflowers that are different in ways too subtle to notice (see the different flower shapes in the photo at top right). One exception is offspring from 'Doppleganger' (also marketed as 'Double Decker'); in their third season in our garden, our plants are indeed sprouting some silly petals from the central cone. Not a thing of great beauty, but OK as curiosities go. The real thing is undoubtedly more attractive.

purple coneflower
We haven't tried any of the new hybrid echinaceas with orangey-salmony colors, so I was surprised to see this bloom in an area where plain purple ones previously grew. A welcome mutation or natural hybrid.

We left this plant behind in our Pennsylvania garden (and wish it well); we don't grow it in Houston.

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Seed-starting details for this plant

  1. Seed for 'Doppleganger' from '05 trade. Baggy 35F (8w) - 70F (60%G, 7-11d)
  2. Seed for 'Doppleganger' from '05 trade. Baggy 35F (8w) - 70F (90%G, 3d)
    Seed for 'Sunset' from '06 trade. Baggy 35F (8w) - 70F (100%G, 4d)
    Seed for 'Vintage Wine' from '06 trade. Baggy 35F (8w) - 70F (100%G, 4-7d)
    Seed for 'Kim's Mophead' from '06 trade. Baggy 35F (8w) - 70F (80%G, 4d)
  3. Seed for 'Double Decker' from '06 trade. Baggy 35F (8w) - 70F (94%G, 3-8d)
    Seed for 'Vintage Wine' from '06 trade. Baggy 35F (8w) - 70F (54%G, 3-7d)

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