The Paradoxical Echinacea

You’re probably familiar with the purple coneflower, Echinacea purpurea.  It’s a beautiful native plant that is often plagued with an incurable disease known as aster yellows.  If you’re fed up with digging out and discarding your purple coneflowers for this reason, try its cousin, the Ozark coneflower, Echinacea paradoxa.

The “paradox” owes to the flower sporting golden yellow petals instead of the usual purple ones. It is a tough native plant that makes pollinators happy and gardeners joyous that aster yellows are a thing of the past.

Plant the Ozark coneflower in a place where it gets 6 or more uninterrupted hours of sunlight daily and away from the irrigation system. Overwatering can cause crown rot and foliar diseases.  The clump of Ozark coneflower will gradually expand over time but not aggressively so.  Plants in flower will reach a height of 24 to 32 inches.

Now you know—the paradox of a purple coneflower that blooms yellow!

by Kathleen Cue

Kathleen Cue
Horticulture Program Coordinator at Nebraska Extension
Kathleen serves as a Horticulture Program Coordinator. She educates people on making smart plant choices to reduce use of fertilizers and pesticides in their landscape which has a positive impact on air, water, soil and environmental quality, property values and people’s pocketbooks. She provides leadership and coordination of the NE Extension in Douglas-Sarpy Counties Master Gardener volunteer programs: the Master Gardener Speakers Bureau, and "Ask the Master Gardener" Consultations.

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