|I'd call this a jubilation of purple (and not-so-purple) purple coneflowers (Echinacea), wouldn't you?|
Many species of Echinacea are native to different areas of North America. However, most of those you'll find in garden centres are nativars, or selected cultivars derived from the native parents.
[Ed: Argh, now that I've shared the URL everywhere, I see my typo: Should be cornucopia!]
|The cones of the ordinary Echinacea purpurea look lit from within when catching the sunlight|
|Echinacea 'Meringue' is one of the growing number of double forms in almost every colour but true blue|
|Possibly E. 'Tomato Soup', this glowing red coneflower one of many hot-colour choices now available|
|Some purple coneflowers droop, others fan out to the side. This might be E. 'Magnus', the first to be a stand-up guy|
|Other Echinacea petals even reach up. This one could be E. 'White Swan' or perhaps more likely E. 'Jade'|
|And some Echinaceas seem to mimic other flowers. This dahlia or mum lookalike is possibly E. 'Pink Poodle'|
|Purple coneflowers play nice with other late-summer flowers such as phlox, black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia) and, off to the left in the background, culver's root (Veronicastrum). You can add just a few.|
|Or, you can have a field day with them. In a whole field.|
|The droopy, narrow petals of Ontario's native pale purple coneflowers (E. pallida) remind me of old-fashioned ballet skirts.|
Although easy to grow, Echinacea can fall prey to diseases, and among the most disfiguring is aster yellows caused by a bacterium-like organism called phytoplasma spread by leafhoppers. Read more on this and other problems here from the Alberta ministry of agriculture. If you see it on your plants, dig them up and destroy them, don't compost.
But don't let the possibility of disease prevent you from giving these lovelies a try.
|This distorted flower head might be the result of Echinacea rosette mite (Eriophyidae)|