Echinacea a colorful journey with coneflower.

Many plants have guided me in my career, often working closely with certain genus like the coneflower. I get the opportunity to journey with the plants and experience them in varying situations. I often spend my free time delving a little deeper and researching some interesting facts about a plants rise to notoriety.

Echinacea genus of ridged flowering perennials that prefer free draining soil and full sun were one of those middle of the border rather harsh to touch perennials that came by way of a soft introduction.

Wild Echinacea angustifolia is less showy than it’s garden relative

Tough and reliable the coneflowers that I recall from my teenage years were able to withstand, extreme fluctuations of sub zero temperatures and hot baking Summers that were my experience of UK Summers in the late 80’s. 

Typically associated with prairie style plantings and bold groups of purple eye popping daisy flowers self sown seedlings of  purpurea the first of garden introduction to the cone flower.

Today coneflowers are available in a kaleidoscope of citrus tones, vibrant pinks, rustic reds and orange that plant breeders introduced during the early 2000’s. Whilst the colorful introduction of sultry sounding varieties has appealed to a captive plant buying audience, the performance sadly left disappointed with the longevity of said cultivars.

Since early 2000’s several color strains have dominated the marketplace.

Purity of White Swan the unspoken grace of white in a garden befallen with silvered blades of grasses as they turn rustic shades of auburn for me will always be much more a garden worthy perennial than the tropical oasis of flaming orange coneflowers, although it’s all down to personal preference and budget.

Attracting pollinators to the brightly colored florets who stubble over the spiky florets of the cone flower, translated from Greek meaning hedgehog. The seeds deeply encased in the tight prickly cones often self sowing adding variable shades to the parent plant over the seasons.

E. White Swan over flame orange will always gain my favor.

Coneflower ‘White Swan’ in bold groups make the perfect canvas for fall asters and arching stems of Russian sage amidst sparks of flowering grasses that rustle in the fall breeze. 

Today my  are colorful dwarf growing varieties, planted as seasonal annuals in large container arrangements and window boxes. Aside Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’ (Red fountain grass) and Rudbeckia ‘Susan’ the addition of the  long flowering coneflower makes it the perfect fall trio.

<< Try germinating Echinacea seeds at home >>

My passion for plants is unwavering, I have a particular interest in natives but as of late home is the urban metropolis that is America’s first garden city Philadelphia.

Follow my colorful journey of City-scaping as we beautify the concrete with soft and graceful trees, plants and flowers. 

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About Head Gardener 291 Articles
Award winning, 40 something year old professional plantsman and horticulturalist with National Trust, private parks and estate management background. My vast plant knowledge and hands on techinical experience, afforded me the opportunity to work in various horticultural landscapes, in the UK, USA & Eastern Europe. Having worked in both garden retail & the design service industry gave me the practical diversity and managerial skill set, required for running a large prestigious gardens and stately homes. I strongly believe knowledge is to be shared and have worked closely with people and staff of all ages and abilities keen to develop their passion for gardening, including groups of children, special needs and adults. I have hosted guided walks, talks and tours for those keen to learn about cultivated and wild plants, garden development, history and design. As an member of the NNCPG and National Trust, I am actively involved in the preservation of several important plant collections both in public and private gardens throughout the UK. “It’s a beautiful thing when a career and a passion grow together, in a garden it’s paradise” Follow @IGrowHort on GardenTags. Stephen is passionate about gardening as Head Gardener with a team of ten staff he manages a prestigious Cheshire country estate of 55 acres, inc wild flower meadows, woodland, organic kitchen and formal gardens. Follow Stephen today”


  1. Thank you Agnes,
    I am pleased you enjoyed reading about the Parrot Beak flower, I was fortunate enough to work alongside this plant in the United Kingdom during a rare hot Summer. In full flower this plant really is something special and besides requiring some protection from sub zero temperatures it is largely hassle free.

  2. That’s another flowering plant that I want to add to my garden plan for next year. Glad to have seen you excellent blog post with fantastic photos. Very inspiring.

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