12 Top Coneflower Varieties

Something has happened to the lowly native coneflower over the past decade. Breeders have put their best efforts toward developing new and improved colors and forms of a popular native wildflower, and with these makeovers the Echinacea has morphed into a garden rock star. Not that there was anything wrong with the original E. Purpurea, a familiar dusky purple daisy-like flower with a prominent orange center. Its long blooming time, self-seeding habit, and drought tolerance makes it a favorite of...MORE beginners and professionals alike, who delight in the wildlife friendly attributes of the pollen-rich blooms. With the addition of so many new Echinacea forms, it’s possible to design an entire landscape centered on this flower.

  • 01 of 12


    Avalanche Coneflower
    Photo © National Garden Bureau

    A 2008 introduction that thrives in full sun or dappled shade, ‘Avalanche’ may replace the less hardy Shasta daisy in your flower garden. The 18-inch plants are deer-resistant, and will grow in rocky soils.

  • 02 of 12

    Cheyenne Spirit

    Cheyenne Spirit Coneflower
    Photo © National Garden Bureau

    This Fleuroselect Gold Medal winner takes the guesswork out of garden design; one packet of seeds will yield cheerful blooms in shades of yellow, orange, purple, cream, and red. If you start your seeds indoors after Christmas, you’ll see late summer blooms on these fast growing plants.

  • 03 of 12


    Daydream Coneflower
    Photo © National Garden Bureau

    The gently drooping petals and prominent cones of ‘Daydream’ will remind you of the native form of Echinacea blooms, but ‘Daydream’ delivers more flowers on highly branching and compact plants. ‘Daydream’ blooms earlier than many coneflower varieties, beginning as early as May, and continuing the show for five months.

  • 04 of 12

    Double Scoop Cranberry

    Double Scoop Cranberry Coneflower
    Photo © National Garden Bureau

    The ‘Double Scoop’ series of Echinacea is a response to consumer demand for lush, double-petaled flowers. In addition to the clear red blooms of ‘Double Scoop Cranberry,’ gardeners can purchase D.S. Bubblegum, Orangeberry, or Raspberry coneflowers, all featuring a mop of petals surrounded by flaring petals.

    Continue to 5 of 12 below.
  • 05 of 12


    FIrebird Coneflower
    Photo © National Garden Bureau

    The glowing shuttlecock blooms of ‘Firebird’ appeal to gardeners who love the cones of Echinacea as much as the petals. One of the best features of this butterfly magnet is the non-fading color of the brilliant flowers. The 25-inch plants will light up the front of your mixed sunny flower border.

  • 06 of 12

    Flame Thrower

    Flame Thrower Coneflower
    Photo © National Garden Bureau

    The bicolor yellow and orange petals of ‘Flame Thrower’ combined with deep red cones are a garden designer’s dream. Pair this early bloomer with the crimson and gold ‘Summer Punch’ coreopsis or your favorite burgundy heuchera variety.

  • 07 of 12


    Greenline Coneflower
    Photo © National Garden Bureau

    If you haven’t discovered the green flower craze, ‘Greenline’ coneflowers are a great introduction to this versatile bloom color. A stand of ‘Greenline’ coneflowers add textural interest to the sunny border, but these chartreuse beauties really shine when planted alongside magenta or hot pink flowers.

  • 08 of 12

    Hot Papaya

    Hot Papaya Coneflower
    Photo © National Garden Bureau

    I’m thankful to the Dutch for bringing us so many new flower introductions, and this garden exclamation point from breeder Arie Blom is no exception. Newly opened flowers start off with a brilliant gold hue, which transitions to a tropical flame orange. The flowers shine among other bright yellow and red flowers, but also stand out when combined with cool blue flowers.

    Continue to 9 of 12 below.
  • 09 of 12


    Leilani Coneflower
    Photo © National Garden Bureau

    As one of the members of Terra Nova’s ‘Prairie Pillars’ series, ‘Leilani’ coneflowers exhibit strong stems that perform well as cut flowers on vigorous plants that shrug off harsh summer heat. The 40-inch plants bear bright yellow flowers from July through October with occasional deadheading.

  • 10 of 12

    PowWow Wild Berry

    PowWow Wild Berry Coneflower
    Photo © National Garden Bureau

    Available as seed to populate your large garden, ‘PowWow Wild Berry’ will bloom just 20 weeks after sowing. The 2010 All-America Selection winner continues to pump out new buds on branching 24-inch plants even if you fail to deadhead faded blooms.

  • 11 of 12

    Secret Passion

    Secret Passion Coneflower
    Photo © National Garden Bureau

    The variety names in the coneflower ‘Secret’ series hint that this flower is trying to break into the lucrative Valentine’s cut flower market. ‘Secret Passion’ joins eight other ‘Secret’ Echinaceas, including ‘S. Glow,’ ‘S. Desire,’ and ‘S. Romance,’ all sporting fully double and lushly petaled blossoms. The flowers are fragrant and fade-resistant, making them valuable additions to your vase.

  • 12 of 12

    Tomato Soup

    Tomato Soup Coneflower
    Photo © National Garden Bureau

    If you’re creating a patriotic red, white, and blue garden, vibrant red ‘Tomato Soup’ coneflowers will bloom their hearts out throughout the summer. Pair them with easy bachelor’s buttons and any white coneflower variety to complete the display. Plant these in full sun for best color development.