Seedlings of new, hybrid echinaceas?

Discussion in 'Annuals, Biennials, Perennials, Ferns and Bulbs' started by kaspian, Oct 31, 2006.

  1. kaspian

    kaspian Active Member 10 Years

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    Maine coast, USA, zone 5
    I don't have much experience with the recent echinacea hybrids (which I understand involve crosses between the species E. purpurea and paradoxa, with perhaps some pallida and/or tenneseensis). I ordered a couple for fall planting this year -- 'Mango Meadowbright,' 'Orange Meadowbright,' and 'Sunset' -- but haven't yet seen them in flower.

    Anyway, strolling through town last night I came upon a plant with a single bloom of a soft clear yellow and a few intact seed heads. I asked the gardener, who was out puttering in the yard, if she knew what variety this was. She did not. On an impulse, I asked if she would mind if I collected some of the seeds, and she said that was okay -- so now I've got a little envelope of seeds from this very cool-looking plant.

    I surmise that it might be 'Sunrise.' The form of the plant itself is typical of E. purpurea (as opposed to the 'Meadowbright' siblings, which have longer, narrower, lance-shaped leaves like prairie species such as E. pallida).

    I'm curious, now, whether anybody has tried growing seedlings of these interesting new hybrids, and if so, what you get with the offspring?

    I shouldn't expect them to come true to type from the parent. And of course, there's no knowing what sort of cross-pollination might have occurred with this particular plant -- our village has no shortage of echinaceas, though this is the first I've spotted of the non-purple sort. Still it seems like there might be the possibility of something interesting, with those hybridized genes bouncing around in there.

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