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Echinacea plants are more commonly found in prairie and open woodland areas of central and eastern North America. However over the past few years echinacea plants have soared in popularity thanks in part to an increase in colour range and their use in naturalistic, wildflower planting schemes.
These plants are relatively easy to look after. The main time for vigilance is the spring when young shoots prove to be a tasty treat for snails and slugs. Like many decidous plants once you get them through this period they thrive. Echinaceas are drought-tolerant, perfect for a low-maintenance gardens and they will come back year after year, spreading slowly in clumps.
Pollinators and butterflies absolutely adore echinaceas are instantly attracted by those beautiful nectar rich cones that give this flower their common name of coneflower.
Echinacea angustifolia £2.50
(9cm pot not available this year)
Purple flowers emerge between June and August. Perennial plant native to North America. Prefers full sun. Can tolerate dry conditions. Easy to grow. Height is around 70cm with a spread of 30cm. Hardy.
Echinacea purpurea £2.50
(9cm pot sold out)
Easy, low-growing perennial with bright orange flowers that are open from May to July. Prefers moist well-drained soil in full sun although I've planted this geum in partial shade and it is flourishing - it even flowered in October! Is hardy although needs to be divided every few years to retain vigour. Average height and spread is 30cm.
Echinacea purpurea 'Rubinstern' £4.00
(9cm pot coming soon)
Otherwise known as 'Ruby Star'. Deep scented ruby-red flowers, surrounding an orange-brown cone, that appear between July and October. Grows best in full sun and can tolerate any soil except boggy or very dry. Grows to about 75cm tall with a spread of 50cm and is hardy. Very attractive to pollinators. AGM.
Echinacea purpurea 'Ruby Giant' £4.50
(9cm pot coming soon)
Large, ruby-red echinacea with wide, flat flowers, surrounding a brown cone, that appear between July and October. Flowers start out bright and then aqcuire a grey tinge. Best in full sun in light, well-drained soil. Grows to about 85cm tall with a spread of 60cm and is hardy. Is a real butterfly and bee magnet. AGM.