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Colorful echinacea

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I am so impressed with all of the different varieties of echinacea. They're gorgeous. It used to be there was purple coneflowers and that was it. But now there are so many different colors, shapes and flower forms out there that it's hard to really choose. If you do want to find a lot of these to look at, go to one of the All American trial gardens like this one. They are a great place to go to see a lot of different varieties that are new to the market, so you can anticipate them next year.

We are talking about purple coneflowers, but there are a lot of different colors now and particularly the bright yellows are nice ones. This "Prairie Pillar" is a really nice one. Not only does it have bright yellow petals, there are large flowers, too.

And, of course, the flowers are not single anymore, they are double, too.

I love the fuzzy tops on some. This one is called "Secret Lust" and it has a pinky melon color that's really nice. And then there is a solid pink one called "Bubblegum."

If you are looking to get a number of these types all in one package or one grouping you can get mixes. "Cheyenne Spirit" is a mix of different colored echinacea. So you can get the red, pink and yellows. It's just a riot of color. There is also "Colorburst Orange," which is a beautiful orange variety again with the big petals.

The one downside about all of these colorful echinacea is they're not as long lived as the purple coneflower. But if you are patient with them and you pamper them a little bit, you'll get a couple of good years out of them and it will add a lot of nice color to your garden. It seems like they are worth it.

~By Charlie Nardozzi

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