Echinacea, or coneflowers, are well know to gardeners. They're North American natives, but they've traveled widely. The name coneflower is readily explained by the way the petals sweep back and downward, forming a cone. The name Echinacea is from the Greek word for spiny, echino and is a reference to the pincushion center.
The reason these perennial flowers are so well known is because they grow so well and are so widely adaptable; drought tolerant, long blooming and very low maintenance.
Nothing intrigues a plant breeder more than playing with a plant that's loaded with great attributes. Sometimes this means sacrificing one attribute for the sake of another; color over fragrance, more blooms, less height. Sometimes it works out to everyone's benefit. That's seems to be the case with Echinacea. The new varieties showcased here are no longer purple, some aren't even cone-shaped. But they are all easy growing in glorious colors and many are fragrant. Take a look.
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