Echinacea Purpurea (coneflower)
This perennial dies back to below ground level each year in autumn, then fresh new growth appears again in spring.
Position: full sun
Soil: most soils, except very dry or boggy
Rate of growth: average
Flowering period: June to September
Hardiness: fully hardy
Large, rich rosy-purple, daisy-like flowers with prominent orange-brown centres on stiff stems appear from June to September. One of our recommended plants, it's tough and does not need staking and makes an excellent cut flower. Like other coneflowers, it is long-flowering and will cope well with adverse weather conditions, except drought. Try it dotted through a sunny, mixed border or in bold drifts among grasses where it will extend the season of interest. It is attractive to bees and butterflies, and birds will flock to the seedheads.
Garden care: Lift and divide congested colonies in autumn or spring. In autumn cut back all dead flower stems to the ground. Coneflowers benefit from a spring or autumn mulch with well-rotted compost.