On a recent trip to the Chicago Botanical Gardens Trial Gardens. They were trialing a very large number of Purple Coneflowers. One has always been led to believe that they all look alike. This was immediately proven wrong. While none of the trial varieties were named they all showed visible differences. Their  care and growing environments are all very similar. Echinacea purpurea ' Magnus' is the most popular and well know variety but one these Trial varieties maybe the new champion of Echinacea.

The newest Introduction of Echinacea is Echinacea 'Art's Pride' which will be introduced by Monrovia as Echinacea 'Orange Meadowbrite'™.

Echinacea 'Art's Pride'

Echinacea 'Orange Meadowbrite"

Echinacea purpurea ‘Magnus’ is an outstanding perennial, a bold, sun-loving plant with a long mid-summer bloom that is easy to grow. Purple Coneflower is a member of the Asteraceae (Compositae) or sunflower family. Echinacea  purpurea, a native to the mid-western plains of North America, is an upright growing clump former with fairy, coarsely toothed basal leaves up to 6 inches long. Flowers are borne in heads set on stalks up to 4 feet tall. The flower head is made up of a raised central cone of bronze disk flowers surrounded by highly coloured, downward curving ray flowers.

Chicago Botanical Gardens
 Trial  Echinacea #1

Nice Colour

Colour in this species ranges from pink to white to carmine. Echinacea purpurea ‘Magnus’ was selected at the nursery of Magnus Nilsson near Paarp, Sweden. Mr. Nilsson, long enamored of the strength and

Chicago Botanical Gardens
 Trial  Echinacea # 2

Nice Shape

boldness of Echinacea purpurea, but unhappy with the shuttlecock appearance of the relaxed ray petals, selected flowers that has strong, carmine colours and wide, flat petal displays. His selection efforts were then discovered by Klaus Jelitto who named and introduced ‘Magnus’ to the perennial trade.

Chicago Botanical Gardens
 Trial  Echinacea # 3

Certainly Better Than White Swan

‘Magnus’ may be propagated by seeds, basal cuttings, root cuttings or division. Seed propagation is the main method of reproducing Echinacea purpurea ‘Magnus’. 

Echinacea purpurea ‘Magnus’ 

Magnus Is Good But Over Hyped

Cover seeds with a thin layer of medium and press in lightly. Moisten the medium and stratify for 4 weeks at 40 degrees F. Germinate at about 68 degrees F, in moist medium. Germination should occur in about 14 days. 

Chicago Botanical Gardens
 Trial  Echinacea # 4

I Think That This One Became Vintage Wine

Seedlings should be grown at cool temperatures and transplanted after 6-8 weeks. Basal cuttings can be removed in the spring when the shoots are 4-6 inches long and treated with 1000 ppm IBA in powdered form.

Chicago Botanical Gardens
 Trial  Echinacea # 5

This One Was A Field of Pink

For root propagation, collect root pieces that are pencil-sized in the late fall or early winter. The root sections closest to the crown of the plant should always be placed upright in the propagation medium. Cover lightly with medium and hold at 60 degrees F. Divide clumps in early spring just as the buds are beginning to swell. 

Chicago Botanical Gardens
 Trial  Echinacea # 6

Looks Like Mango Meadowbrite

Echinacea purpurea ‘Magnus’ is easy to grow and has a long bloom season; plants often remain in bloom for up to 6 weeks. Bare-root or containerized plants should be planted in partial to full sun. Magnus purple cornflower is well adapted to dry sites and good drainage in the winter is recommended.

Echinacea purpurea 
on the Roof Garden of
 the Chicago City Hall

A Quality Plant On A Pedestal (City Hall)

Purple coneflower grows well in soils with organic matter mixed in the top 6-8 inches at planting time. Bare-root plants or divisions should be planted so the emerging buds are just below the soil surface. Purple coneflower is slow to start in the spring, but grows rapidly with the onset of hot summer weather. ‘Magnus’ is bothered by few insect pests. Purple coneflower is frequented by butterflies and birds.


Echinacea Little Giant Echinacea Little Giant is a dwarf coneflower with 5 inch fragrant red- purple flowers and large orange cone shaped centers. Petals are ruffled and overlapping. Grows 12 inches tall and 12 inches wide.
Fragrant Angel Echinacea Fragrant Angel has large fragrant white flowers and large orange cone shaped centers. Petals are overlapped and ruffled. Grows 20 inches high and 24 inches wide.
Echinacea Vintage Wine Echinacea Vintage Wine has dark purple-pink fanning out around the large cone. Grows 36 inches tall and 20 inches wide.
Echinacea Ruby Giant Echinacea 'Ruby Giant' Has a copper orange cone with fragrant 5-6 inch diameter non-drooping pink petals flowers. Grows up to 25 inches tall.
Echinacea Sundown Echinacea 'Sundown'
Up to 30 inches tall with fragrant intense orange flowers.
Echinacea Kim's Mophead Echinacea 'Kim's Mophead'
This Dwarf  with golden green cone and white petals grows to 20 to 24 inches tall
Echinacea Kim's Knee High Echinacea ' Kim's Knee High'
Dwarf Plant 20 to 24 inches tall with mauve pink drooping petals with burnt red cone.
Echinacea Fatal Attraction Echinacea 'Fatal Attraction'
Numerous purple-pink dropping petals that fades shortly after opening. Grows 22 to24 inches tall.
Echinacea Harvest Moon Echinacea 'Harvest Moon'
Golden yellow petals with an orange cone. The plant grows 24 to 28 inches tall.
Echinacea Razzamtazz Echinacea 'Razzmatazz'
Fragrant purple-pink fully double flowers with the cone being made of petals. I can not smell the fragrance and it may take several years to be consistently fully double. Grows 24 to 28 inches tall possibly taller and the stems may flop over.
Echinacea Jade Echinacea 'Jade'
Radiating white petals with a green cone. Plant grows 20 to 24 inches tall.
Echinacea Sunset Echinacea 'Sunset'
Salmon-orange petals with a copper cone. Grows 24 to 28 inches tall.
Copyright 2007