Echinacea purpurea, Purple Cone Flower: Large sunrays, of dusky rose pink, with downward facing, overlapping petals which encircle a large yellowish brown centre cone. Flowers bloom from late spring to first frost on well branched stems that do not need staking. Excellent cut flower fresh or dried. Used medicinally for chest and cold ailments. This hardy native of North America enjoys full sun to light shade in well drained , dry to medium moist garden soil. Divide clumps every 4 years. 90cm x 45cm .
Sow Echinacea seed in late winter to spring or late summer to autumn. Seed prefers a cold spell to germinate well. Sow seed on surface of good quality seed raising mix and press in lightly, do not cover seed as seed needs light to germinate, you may use a very light sprinkling of vermiculite. Keep moist but not wet at all times. Keep at 20-24 degrees C . Germination may start after 5 days and may take up to 20 days. Prick out seedlings once large enough to handle into 7.5cm pots to grow on before planting out in spring in well drained soil. Echinacea will flower in 11 to 15 weeks from sowing so Flowers are possible in the first year.