New echinaceas seem to be appearing on all sides but there’s still a relatively small choice for gardeners who like to raise their echinaceas from seed.
Winner of a Gold Medal from Fleuroselect, the Europe-wide flower trialling organisation, ‘Cheyenne Spirit’ (left, click to enlarge) is an echinacea mixture to raise from seed. It produces plants with large single flowers in six colours: red, orange, yellow, purple, rosy-red, and cream. So there’s an excellent range of colours (although no pure white), and, great news for the gardener, the plants flower in their first year from a spring sowing – treat them like a half-hardy annual to give them a good early start.
The plants all reach about the same size, whatever the colour – 27-31in/68-80cm in height and 25-30in/64-76cm wide – the plants are very bushy and while in their second year they should flower from June to September, flowering will begin later in the first year.
‘Cheyenne Spirit’ is ideal in sunny borders, where as well as providing its own shining colours, it attracts bees and butterflies and it’s also good as a cut flower. Cut the stems just as the petals are unfurling. And once your plants are flowering, you can pick out your favourite color and divide the plant so you have more for the future.
You can order seed of Echinacea ‘Cheyenne Spirit’ from Nicky’s Nursery.