Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Garden-worthy native

I love this selection of Coneflower, Echinacea paradoxa x purpurea. Given the cultivar name, 'Paranoia,' this plant has strappy yellow petals that arch down from the central cone. I think it would look great planted with a native grass like Muhly Grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris).
Or you could plant a mass of these Coneflowers near a native Trumpet Honeysuckle Vine (Lonicera sempervirens) for a beautiful combination.
Unlike the invasive Japanese Honeysuckle, this vine behaves itself and nicely contributes to the local ecosystem. The rich red flowers attract the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird* and is a larval plant for the Spring Azure Butterfly.

Ozark Coneflower seems to be taller than Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), so plan accordingly. Parson's Nursery in Georgetown, South Carolina sells this selection (wholesale only).
*When I worked at Carolina Nurseries, we used to grow this plant by the hundreds (if not thousands). When they flowered, I would stand in the middle of the field and watch 30-50 hummigbirds at a time zoom from flower to flower and fight for territory. It was amazing to be that close to so many birds. They were so engrossed with the flowers that they didn't notice me there at all.


  1. Probably a good thing you no longer work at Carolina Nurseries. I hope they get things worked out, because I really like their plant material.

  2. When The Ohio was Bird Country, red honeysuckle reached 250 feet. It climbed up a tree called "Big Purple," that only The Chinee wanted. To the early settlers this symbolized spilt blood authorized by royal authority, i.e. what happened in the Roman Colosseum. The state of Ohio made war on red honeysuckle in particular, but crossvine was also eradicated from the state. There were many vine ecologies (The Grapevine Woods, the most common and spring up everywhere especially where let go in our parks, the Bittersweet Woods, (the first two reached two hundred feet) and the Trumpet Lands - consisting of many violently colored vines (whore colors) with trumpet shaped flowers rambling up even larger flowering trees with gauds (hummingbirds) being considered verminous pests, 50 foot rose bushes growing out of a tree knot 100 feet up including many of the roses first introduced in the 1500s, howling animals to include black jaguars,red pandas, many many snakes and the shit eating mosses. Remnants of the trumpetlands still exist but are vestiges of themselves.



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