With rays of blazing yellow orange and a central cone of deep burnt amber, the vibrant colors of this member of the Prairie Pillars™ series live up to its name. A well-branched habit completes the package, and makes it an excellent choice for the middle of a border. PP 21,932
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.