Need Help Solving Coneflower Conundrum

Echinacea Big Sky 'Sunrise' takes center stage in a
mostly-echinacea bouquet.
If the month of July must be known for something in my garden, it would have to be coneflower, or Echinacea. At least it is in my bouquets. Each time I went to fill a vase, I found myself gravitating toward one or another of half a dozen or so cultivars. The true yellow variety, by the Saul brothers of Itsaul Plants, is an older cultivar, Big Sky 'Sunrise'.

Another extremely useful vase plant for July has been the Hypericum Hypearls series by Green Leaf. I have at least four different cultivars planted in moist, semi-shade that all have provided me with lovely foliage and berries to complement just about any flower I choose to cut for a vase.

Photo 1 of mystery Echinacea taken July 1
I've arrived upon a coneflower conundrum, however. It involves my inability to identify a lovely new Echinacea I received from whom I do not know. And I truly hate when that happens. The first photo fo the flower in question is pictured at right. It's a serious double--deep pink with a tuft of pink and then white petals toward the center. The other flower at the lower right in the photo is pale pink throughout save for the very center which is a deep green-brown color. They were both cut from the same plant, which I think might be 'Raspberry Truffle' from Plants Nouveau. The photo at right was taken July 1. 

Photo 2 of Mystery Echinacea taken July 20

The second photo is of the very same mystery coneflower which might be 'Raspberry Truffle'. This plant IS a cultivar, not a reverted species. I don't have any of the non-hybrid species in my garden.   The photo was taken on July 20. I wonder if the difference in color could be chalked up to temperature fluctuations, but first I'd really love to know which plant I'm enjoying so much.



  1. Is it possible it could be Aster Yellows? Unless it is ID'd to be a specific variety, I believe Aster Yellows shows up not just as deformities, but also changes in color.
    On the other hand, I suppose the cultivars could be reverting back to some earlier form...That's why it's been said that the very best Echinacea is the pure, uncultivated variety. Pollinaters have trouble with the ruffly kinds as well, not being able to get through all the layers. Additionally, in many cases, those cultivars have little or no pollen, and are often sterile.
    I hope you can find the source of the changes to your plants!

  2. Additionally, if you're only asking about the ID of the Echinacea, could it be 'Pink Double Delight'? I have that variety...and there is a bit of white in the center. Look at this link to see a photo:

    I know I said earlier the cultivars aren't the best for pollinaters...but that doesn't mean I don't have any:) I just make sure to plant enough of the native variety to make up for the difference.

  3. Heidi/ IN Woodland GardenerAugust 2, 2012 at 7:37 AM

    Lovely!!! My purple coneflowers got sick this summer with a fungus on the bloom and had to be cut down so I am enjoying your pictures!