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Echinacea - Sombrero Series (Review/Ratings)

Posted by Paul VanOteghem

Echinacea New SombreroSeries

Echinacea x. purpurea

Echinacea has a long history of medicinal uses some of which are purported to be: an antidote for venomous bites; headache remedy; mumps treatment; cold remedy; arthritis treatment; pain reliever; indigestion; tumors; malaria; and last but not least, a hemorrhoid treatment. While most of these old uses of Echinacea are no longer commonplace, Echinacea has once again become popular for the treatment of a variety of medical conditions including several skin diseases and boosting one's immune system. While all of these health benefits are important (particularly the control of that "painful burning itch"), that is not the purpose of this blog. I want to talk to you about three new perennial varieties to Home Nursery and their place in your garden.

A coming attraction in 2013 and sure to be a crowd pleaser is the Sombrero Series of Echinacea (Coneflower) from Darwin Perennials. This new and improved collection of plants was brought to our attention by our sales rep from the Ball Horticultural Company.  My understanding is that its superior genetics has its roots in the same breeding program that gave us the PowWow series.

One of its tremendous attributes is that they are reported to be hardy from zones 4a-9b which is a great improvement over many of the other Echinacea on the market which may only survive zone 6 conditions. 

hot coralSalsa Redsandy yellow

                     Hot Coral                                                                Sandy Yellow                                                         Salsa Red

The three varieties pictured here will be added to the offerings of Home Nursery during the 2013 growing season.  All three varieties possess single flowers on compact, well-branched plants.  All are billed as being very floriferous.  Echinacea offer blooms starting in late spring and going through late summer.  Dead-heading will help ensure this long bloom period.  Best success will be achieved if planted into a well-drained soil and a full sun exposure.  Another characteristic of Echinacea is that they are fairly tolerant of dry conditions and can continue to perform in hot conditions.

If they deliver as promised, this series of Echinacea should be a real winner and a new favorite in many gardens.

Tags: Plants, Perennials