ALWAYS A PURPLE CONEFLOWER
recent trip to the
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
newest Introduction of Echinacea is Echinacea 'Art's Pride' which will
be introduced by
Monrovia as 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.
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
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
‘Magnus’ may be propagated by seeds, basal cuttings, root
cuttings or division. Seed propagation is the main method of reproducing
Echinacea purpurea ‘Magnus’.
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.
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.
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.
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.
on the Roof Garden of
the Chicago 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.