Echinacea, also know as Coneflowers, are popular perennials with good reason. They are heat and drought resistant, easy to grow, bloom for months, make great cut flowers and attract birds and pollinators. Coneflowers come in glorious shades of pink, orange, yellow, red and chartreuse, as well as a range of flower forms—standard shuttlecock to horizontal ruffs to doubles with a powder-puff center. For weeks, even months, during the summer and fall the blooms and seed heads will attract a multitude of winged beauties. Each composite flower (actually a compact arrangement of ray and disk flowers) offers up a fully loaded buffet table for butterflies. Other pollinators, such as honeybees and hummingbirds will visit Echinacea too. Many gardeners report that they are deer resistant. Their spiny centers and strong aroma deter deer. However, if deer are hungry enough, they will eat anything!
Praised for their cheerful brightly colored flowers, coneflowers are a mainstay in today’s garden. Be sure to leave some spent blooms on the plants in the fall because their seeds provide winter food for finches and other birds!