Echinacea purpurea 'Doubledecker'
Common Name: purple coneflower
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asteraceae
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 2.50 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 3.50 feet
Bloom Time: June to August
Bloom Description: Pink (two-tiered)
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
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.

'Doubledecker' may be grown from seed.

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.

'Doubledecker' ('Doppelganger') is a pink coneflower with a unique two-tiered bloom. In the first growing season, traditional single coneflowers bloom sporting reflexed pink rays that surround large, rounded, dark brown center cones. Beginning in the second growing season, flowers predominently bloom as before but often with a second small tier of shorter pink rays shooting upward from the top of the brown center cone. Size and quality of the second tier of flowers varies from plant to plant. This unusual seed strain originated as a chance mutation in the garden of Eugen Schleipfer in Germany, and was developed by him in succeeding years before it was introduced into commerce. Plants typically grow in an upright clump to 36-40" tall and to 24-28" wide on sturdy, well-branched stems that do not need staking. Flowers appear in a floriferous bloom from late spring to late summer, sometimes with additional sporadic bloom until frost. Strigose, narrow-ovate leaves (to 4" long) with serrated margins are medium green.

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).