Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Gardening A to Z: E is for Echinacea

The echinacea plant is one of my favorites in my perennial garden. You may know it better as coneflower. When they are in full bloom, the purple petals bend backwards, resembling a cone. I always think they look like shuttlecocks from badminton.

These gorgeous flowers come in both purple and white. I believe I have seen a yellow variety on occasion. Unfortunately, the white and the yellow do not seem to do well in my yard. I only get the purple, which is my favorite color, anyway. I like how it contrasts with the white Shasta daisies that are always blooming around the same time.

Coneflowers are also good for attracting bees to your yard. Bees help with pollination, which allows for your perennials to grow. I also have small vegetable gardens both in the ground and in containers. I need the bees to help with those, as well. And they sure make for some beautiful pictures when you can catch them. :-)

Some people also use echinacea for medicinal purposes. I have no idea how to do this from the plants in my garden. I have purchased it in capsule and tea form in health food stores, though.

All photos in this blog post are copyright Andrea Coventry. Please do not use them without written permission.

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