• The Dawning of a New Day in Echinaceas

    Echinacea ‘Sunrise’ is a good plant. Such a blunt and lackluster statement bears further explanation. Much excitement surrounds the genus Echinaceaat the moment and why wouldn’t it with such a tremendous effort in expounding on its natural diversity? However, one need bear in mind a vow of temperance when evaluating the outputs of these breeding programs. The only way we will come to capitalize on the genetic offerings within a genus is to breed throughouly, thoughtfully, and keep in mind that an advancement in one program may be just the beginning in another. Yet we cannot pass judgement on the former for not meeting the goals of the latter. Here sets the stage for discontentment between breeders of coneflowers when evaluating each others work. Some would argue that Echinacea ‘Sunrise’ warrants improvement. Indeed it may but its worthiness of as a garden plant is hardly diminished by the stray petals often seen adorning the flowers. Call it a flaw or call it character.

    Echinacea ‘Sunrise’ comes to us from the Saul brother, Richard and Bobby, and their nursery ItSaul Plants. ‘Sunrise’ was the first of many coneflower introductions and the cone craziness of this dynamic, brotherly duo can be witnessed here.

    In my southern Iowa garden, Echinacea ‘Sunrise’ is a great performer. It blooms for the better part of five weeks and the color is unbeatable. No matter the weather, a sunny day is always in store when this plant is utilized in the herbaceous border. Paired with Weigela ‘Wine & Roses’ and a colony of ornamental kale it makes a great dinner companion in its sunny home in my garden. Even first year plants perform as if they’ve been established for seasons. My first year plant put up stems to fill a hefty Iowa farmer’s armload and continues to form a hearty clump.

    Go out and find an Echinacea ‘Sunrise’ in addition to the many other great coneflowers being produced by American breeders these days. Why not add a little sunshine to your garden?

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