Echinacea purpurea 'Avalanche'
Common Name: purple coneflower
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asteraceae
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to August
Bloom Description: White with yellow-green center cone
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy, Good Cut
Attracts: Birds, Butterflies
Tolerate: Deer, Drought, Clay Soil, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil

Culture

Easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Best in full sun. 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. Freely self-seeds if at least some of the seed heads are left in place.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Echinacea purpurea, commonly called purple coneflower, is a coarse, rough-hairy, herbaceous perennial that is native to moist prairies, meadows and open woods of the central to southeastern United States (Ohio to Michigan to Iowa south to Louisiana and Georgia). It typically grows to 2-4' tall. Showy daisy-like purple coneflowers (to 5" diameter) bloom throughout summer atop stiff stems clad with coarse, ovate to broad-lanceolate, dark green leaves. Good fresh cut or dried flower. The dead flower stems will remain erect well into the winter, and if flower heads are not removed, the blackened cones may be visited by goldfinches or other birds that feed on the seeds.

Genus name of Echinacea comes from the Greek word echinos meaning hedgehog or sea-urchin in reference to the spiny center cone found on most flowers in the genus.

Specific epithet means purple.

‘Avalanche’ is an upright, compact cultivar featuring coneflowers with white rays and yellow green center cones. It is a patented plant that was originated from a cross pollination in Bovenkarspel, The Netherlands in July 2003. It typically grows in an upright clump to only 15-18” tall on rigid stems clad with rough, irregularly serrate, tapering, narrow-ovate, dark green leaves (to 7” long). Flowers bloom from June to September, sometimes with sporadic additional bloom to frost. U.S. Plant Patent PP18,597 was issued on March 11, 2008.

Problems

Japanese beetle and leaf spot are occasional problems. Susceptible to aster yellows disease.

Garden Uses

Excellent, long-blooming flower for massing in the border, meadow, native plant garden, naturalized area, wildflower garden or part shade area of woodland garden. Often massed with black-eyed Susans (rudbeckias).