Common Name: purple coneflower
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 2.50 feet
Bloom Time: May to August
Bloom Description: Rose pink rays with orange-bronze center disk
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Dry to medium
Attracts: Birds, Butterflies
Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Clay Soil, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil
Easily grown in average, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Best in full sun. This is an adaptable plant that is tolerant of drought, heat, humidity and poor soil. Divide clumps when they become overcrowded (about every 4 years). Plants usually rebloom without deadheading, however prompt removal of spent flowers improves general appearance.
‘Merlot’ is a purple coneflower that typically grows in an upright clump to 34” tall on distinctive dark wine red stems (hence the cultivar name) clad with toothed, tapering, narrow-ovate, dark green leaves. Large daisy-like coneflowers (to 5” diameter) with narrow rose pink rays and orange-bronze central cones bloom from June to early September, sometimes with sporadic later bloom to frost. The dead flower stems will remain erect well into the winter, and if flower heads are not removed, the blackened cones are often visited by goldfinches that feed on the seeds. Echinacea comes from the Greek word echinos meaning hedgehog in reference to the flower’s spiny center cone. U. S. Plant Patent Applied For (PPAF).
No serious insect or disease problems. Japanese beetle, powdery mildew and fungal leaf spots are occasional problems.
Border fronts, cottage gardens or part shade areas of open woodland gardens.