Here's another winner from the talented plant breeder Arie Blom, whose cross of two Echinacea species resulted in these extra-large, double blossoms with sturdy stems to support them. 'Marmalade' wears a tangy orange center tuft that expands exuberantly above its slender, yellow-orange ray petals. PP 22,602
Echinacea, a North American genus in the Daisy family, has big, bright flowers that appear in late June and keep coming into September. Plants thrive in average soils or hot, dry conditions, shrug off cold, and are equally at home in full sun or partial shade. Blooms last well as cut or dried flowers, and the large cone at the heart of the flower head turns black as the seeds mature, adding further interest and providing nourishment for goldfinches. Purple Coneflower, E. purpurea, is a rugged species native from Iowa and Ohio south to Louisiana and Georgia, and is a great garden plant everywhere in between.
For more information on growing Echinacea, click on Growing Guide.