Echinacea deserves a spot in your garden just because it's a great performer. But it is also a butterfly favorite and you'll find them sitting on the petals, taking in the sun and nectar. There's been a surge in coneflower breeding recently, 'White Swan', 'Harvest Gold', 'Orange Meadowbrite' and 'Sunset'... making the term 'Purple' Coneflower almost obsolete. But having other options doesn't mean the old standbys should be discarded and a butterfly garden is the perfect spot for some of the proven performers of the species.
Echinacea purpurea - Purple Coneflower (USDA Zones 2 - 10, 3-4' x 3', Magenta Blooms: Repeat Bloomer)
- Echinacea tennesseensis - Tennessee Coneflower (USDA Zones 3 - 9, 18" x 18", Magenta Blooms: Repeat Bloomer)
- Echinacea pallida - Pale or Tall Coneflower (USDA Zones 5 - 9, 3-4' x 18", Magenta Blooms: Repeat Bloomer)
Both of these have thinner petals than purpurea and the tall coneflower is more swept-back.