Noted for its large, slightly-fragrant coneflowers, Echinacea 'Sundown' is a spectacular addition to the garden with its brilliant orange-red hues and wide ray florets. Stunning result of a cross between two Echinacea hybrids, this Coneflower is on display for weeks and features intense orange daisy-like flowers, up to 4 in. across (10 cm), with a central dark brown cone and overlapping, drooping ray florets. Member of the Big Sky Series, this attractive Coneflower is slightly smaller than the other Big Sky Coneflowers (Sunrise, Sunset, Twilight) but more prolific and tolerant of almost everything!
- Extremely showy and vigorous, this fabulous herbaceous perennial blooms profusely from early summer to late summer and is a perfect choice for beds and borders, naturalized areas, meadows, prairies, wildflower gardens. It looks terrific when massed with Black-Eyed Susans (Rudbeckia) or with blue flowering perennials such as Geranium Rozanne, Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) or Catmint Walker's Low (Nepeta Racemosa).
- Excellent as cut or dried flowers. If flower heads are not removed in the fall, the blackened cones will be visited by birds that feed on the seeds.
- Easy care, this Coneflower grows in clumps up to 3 feet tall (90 cm) on strong erect stems, and thrives in full sun or light shade. It prefers average, dry to medium, well-drained soils. Avoid overly rich or fertile soil or the plant might become leggy.
- Planted in mass, the cone-shaped flower heads provide quite an attraction to butterflies, hummingbirds and yourself!
- Drought, deer, heat, humidity and poor soil tolerant!
- Remove spent flowers and cut back the stems to encourage further blooms and reduce self-seeding. Deadheading will help them grow and thrive.
Echinacea, commonly called Coneflower, has been cultivated as a hardy and showy perennial since the 1700s, both in North America and Europe. Truly an American plant, native to the central and eastern part of the country, it was used by the early native Americans to cure wounds and infections. A great prairie flower, its bright and large blossoms made a successful transition to the backyard. Traditionally purple, with ray flowers that droop downward off the central cone, Coneflowers today enjoy a rich variety of colors and flower shapes with ray florets held horizontal, single or even doubled, giving them the look of Chrysanthemum. Easily grown from seed, they thrive on neglect.