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Hot New Coneflowers Hit the Stage

Hot New Coneflowers Hit the Stage

By Dan Heims, president, Terra Nova Nurseries, Inc.
Photographs courtesy of Terra Nova Nurseries, Inc.

OK, campers. Time to put on those summer-tinted sunglasses and plan for a garden that rocks it in summer. Pollinators will be drooling to get a chance at some of these floriferous new Echinaceas from those amazing breeders at Terra Nova. Winter is almost over (at least for the people of the Pacific Northwest), and the others (yeah, you too, Punxsutawney Phil), well, it’s almost ending. It’s time to plan the garden and winter is a good time to review and edit bad choices that have been made. Try to think of “Plants That Pay the Rent.”

The folks at Terra Nova introduce plants by a series name. If you buy any series, you can count on plants with similar width, breadth, flower size and height. This helps designers who are planning masses of plants in perennial borders. The Prima™ series tops out at 16 inches, so they make wonderful front of the border plants. You can use small groups of taller plants from Terra Nova’s tall series to form color echoes to great effect. Old strains of Echinacea would poop out after a few months, these (and many other Terra Nova Echinacea) bloom for five months, providing pollinators with an appetizer and a dessert! Take the plunge.

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Echinacea PRIMA™ ‘Amarillo’

Dazzling, bright golden-yellow blossoms grow atop verdant bright green foliage and are complemented by a cone of emerald green shifting to a sunny yellow. Compact yet vigorous. Ideal for containers, also great for front of beds and borders. Well branched with multiple crowns, it blooms the first year with numerous flowers. In flower the plant grows to a nice 16 inches in height. The foliage at 10 inches is compact and will increase every year for more and more blooms. Aren’t those green eyes gorgeous? Happiest in half to full sun, it will reward users from USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 4 to 9 with flowers from June to October!

Echinacea PRIMA™ ‘Amarillo’:

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Echinacea PRIMA™ ‘Berry’

We love the deep and dramatic color on this petite powerhouse: Echinacea PRIMA™ 'Berry'. The dark berry-pink colored petals are long and draping, like a gorgeous formal dress. These are the largest flowers we have seen on such a tight, compact plant. It’s well-branched with multiple crowns, blooms the first year with numerous flowers. Looks great in a container or rock garden or the front of a border with a height of only 14 inches and a spread of 24 inches. The 18-inch tall flowers in full sun bloom from June to October, like most of Terra Nova’s Echinacea. Zones 4 to 9.

Echinacea PRIMA™ ‘Berry’:

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Echinacea PRIMA™ ‘Saffron’

If you’ve been to China, Myanmar, or Japan, you are used to crowds of Buddhist monks in their saffron robes. You can recreate this Kodachrome moment in your garden! This beauty produces beautiful, bright, saffron-colored blooms all season long while maintaining a short, compact habit. This plant is perfect for containers or displayed at the front of a sunny border. Cheery, 18-inch tall, daisy-like flowers appear on top of this plant from early summer until fall. This pollinator magnet is hardy in zones 4 to 9. Butterflies will bound to this 20-inch wide plant even brighter than Asclepias (milkweed).

Echinacea PRIMA™ ‘Saffron’:

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Echinacea PRIMA™ ‘Tiger’

Gorgeous, large daisy-like flowers of warm autumnal tones cover this stout plant for months. This fragrant gem is a great pollinator attractor and easy to grow. Excellent foliage right down to the ground and perfect for containers. The spectacular, dark-emerald foliage supports the bright bicolor orange and yellow flowers, making this a winner! It will reward users from zones 4 to 9 with flowers from June (in Oregon) to October! Spreads to 10 inches wide and is 16 inches tall in flower. Due to their size, these plants make great fillers between other perennials, providing flower-power into the fall.

Echinacea PRIMA™ ‘Tiger’:

Dan Heims is an award-winning author who lectures throughout the world. He was recently honored by The American Horticultural Society with the Luther Burbank Breeding Award, as well as the Perennial Plant Association’s Award of Merit. He was honored by receiving the Royal Horticultural Society’s Reginald Cory Cup for advancements in breeding.

You may contact Dan at [email protected]

All articles are copyrighted and remain the property of the author.

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Photos and story by Monrovia Nursery Company

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