Nobody Doesn't Like Coneflowers

'Sombrero Salsa Red' is ripping into summer with a bevy of blooms and buds.
No one doesn't have coneflowers. Genetically Echinacea, specifically hybrids of the most colorful kind. We can find coneflowers with a pouf more like a over sprayed pompadour, those boasting more than one color, and varieties that display a certain insouciance by keeping their petals languorously at their sides. Some of the coneflower varieties show off their chutzpah via diameter, and some even have a fragrance.

This year I have a few that, in their second season, are zooming into bloom.

How's this for red? 'Sombrero Salsa Red' shows its reverse petal charm.
I've found that unless a plant is in at least a gallon sized pot, Echinacea requires a season to just hang out and get used to its  new digs before deigning to dazzle us with flowers.

Just three varieties are new to my garden this year. And I've lost one.

First, the new. For sheer near-true, bright red, 'Sombrero Salsa Red' is hard to beat. 

I actually planted Echinacea 'Supreme Flamingo' and 'Supreme Elegance' last season. They each offered up a few blooms, which was nice, but I knew this would be the season of the Supremes.
 'Supreme Elegance' at the beginning.

'Supreme Elegance' is aptly named. She's an understated beauty demurely waiting to be appreciated with the second glance. She knows that glance (and resulting appreciation) will come. And after all, aren't the best things worth waiting for?

'Supreme Elegance' begins to enter the pinnacle of her beauty.
This Echinacea grows into her elegance, expanding at the center and emitting a glow known only to virgin brides and babies. It's shade is fresh and flawless, flushed a pinky-rose like a child after a day at the beach.
Echinacea 'Supreme Flamingo' in my garden

Echinacea 'Supreme Flamingo' has a definite coral-pink thing going on. It's someplace in between shrimp and rose, but with enough saturation to stand out in a crowd. Flowers transition, a trait I love about the newer varieties, so that one plant has a lot of form to offer.

There are some new varieties of coneflower on the horizon. I got to see some of them at Cultivate '14 in Columbus Ohio earlier in the week. This trade show is where the plant growers, breeders and brokers gather with equipment designers and  manufacturers to show wholesalers, retailers, landscapers and writers like me what's new in the horticultural world.

It was great fun, and I'll soon be blogging about what I found, including Echinacea 'Supreme Flamingo' growing at Chadwick Arboretum.
Echinacea 'Supreme Flamingo' at Chadwick Arboretum.

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