24 Great Varieties of Echinacea (Coneflower)

Coneflowers in Bloom

Karthikeyan Arumugam/Getty Images

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 this popular native wildflower, and with these makeovers, Echinacea has morphed into a rock star of the garden.

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 bloom period, self-seeding habit, and drought tolerance still makes it a favorite of 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 is possible to design an entire landscape centered on this flower. While many of the new varieties were developed from E. purpurea, purple coneflower is only one of seven different Echenacea species native to the central and eastern U.S. Some of the newer varieties are derived from hybrid crosses between two different coneflower species. Each new year, new varieties are introduced, so keep on the lookout.

Divide Every Few Years

All coneflowers can become dense and root-bound over time, at which time blooms will become sparser. Dig up, divide, and replant the root clumps to keep the plants vigorous. This is good time to propagate new plants and give prized varieties to friends and neighbors.

  • 01 of 24

    Avalanche (Echinacea purpurea 'Avalanche')

    Avalanche Coneflower

     

    AYImages / Getty Images

    A 2008 introduction that thrives in full sun or dappled shade, Avalanche may well replace the less hardy Shasta daisy in your flower garden. White with a green center, these plants are deer-resistant and will grow in rocky soils. This plant has the typical long bloom period (June through August) of the classic coneflower.

    • Native Area: Coneflower species are native to central and southeastern U.S.
    • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 8
    • Height: 12 to 18 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • 02 of 24

    Cheyenne Spirit (Echinacea 'Cheyenne Spirit')

    Cheyenne Spirit Coneflower

     

    Neydtstock / Getty Images 

    This Fleuroselect Gold Medal winner takes the guesswork out of garden design; one packet of seeds will yield cheerful blooms that include shades of yellow, white, cream, red, pink, orange, yellow or purple ray flowers with brown disk centers. If you start your seeds indoors after Christmas, you will see late summer blooms on these fast-growing plants. Cheyenne Spirit blooms in July and August.

    • Native Area: Coneflower species are native to central and southeastern U.S.
    • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 9
    • Height: 12 to 30 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • 03 of 24

    Daydream (Echinacea 'Daydream')

    Daydream Coneflower

    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. This variety produces soft yellow flowers that bloom earlier than other varieties, beginning as early as May and continuing the show for five months.

    • Native Area: Coneflower species are native to central and southeastern U.S.
    • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 9
    • Height: 12 to 24 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • 04 of 24

    Double Scoop Cranberry (Echinacea x purpurea 'Balscanery')

    Double Scoop Cranberry Coneflower

    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 Bubblegum, Orangeberry, and Raspberry variations on the Double Scoop coneflowers, all featuring a mop of petals surrounded by flaring petals. Flowers begin blooming in July and continue into September.

    • Native Area: Coneflower species are native to central and southeastern U.S.
    • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 7
    • Height: 23 to 25 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
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  • 05 of 24

    Firebird (Echinacea 'Firebird')

    Firebird coneflower

     

    Daniela White Images / Getty Images

    The glowing shuttlecock blooms of' Firebird' appeal to gardeners who love the cones of echinacea as much as they do the petals. It was developed in Oregon as part of the Bird series in 2009. One of the best features of this butterfly magnet is the non-fading color of the brilliant flowers. Firebird blooms profusely from midsummer through fall. 

    • Native Area: Coneflower species are native to central and southeastern U.S.
    • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 9
    • Height: 24 to 36 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • 06 of 24

    Flame Thrower (Echinacea 'Flame Thrower')

    Flame thrower coneflower

     

    Maria Mosolova / Getty Images

    This 2009 introduction from Oregan has bicolor yellow and orange petals combined with deep red cones, making it a garden designer’s dream. Pair this early bloomer with the crimson and gold Summer Punch coreopsis or your favorite burgundy Heuchera variety. 'Flame Thrower' has the typical long bloom season—mid-summer through fall. 

    • Native Area: Coneflower species are native to central and southeastern U.S.
    • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 8
    • Height: 30 to 36 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • 07 of 24

    Greenline (Echinacea purpurea 'Greenline')

    Greenline Coneflower

    National Garden Bureau

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

    Greenline is a relatively early bloomer by coneflower standards, producing flowers from June to August.

    • Native Area: Coneflower species are native to central and southeastern U.S.
    • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 8
    • Height: 18 to 24 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • 08 of 24

    Hot Papaya (Echinacea 'Hot Papaya')

    Hot papaya coneflower

     

    Jori Reijonen / Getty Images

    The Dutch have provided so many new flower introductions, and this garden exclamation point, 'Hot Papaya' from breeder Arie Blom, is no exception. Newly opened flowers start off with a brilliant gold hue, which transition to tropical flame orange. The flowers shine among other bright yellow and red flowers, but also stand out when combined with cool blue flowers. 'Hot Papaya' blooms from early to mid-summer.

    • Native Area: Coneflower species are native to central and southeastern U.S.
    • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 9
    • Height: 30 to 36 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
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  • 09 of 24

    Leilani (Echinacea 'Leilani')

    Leilani Coneflower

    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 the harsh summer heat. The plants bear bright yellow flowers from July through October with occasional deadheading.

    • Native Area: Coneflower species are native to central and southeastern U.S.
    • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 9
    • Height: 36 to 42 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • 10 of 24

    PowWow Wild Berry (Echinacea purpurea 'PAS702917')

    PowWow Wild Berry Coneflower

     

    ZoomTravels / Getty Images

    Available as seeds 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, even if you fail to deadhead faded blooms. This is a more compact plant, and one with a preference for a slightly cooler climate than most coneflowers. It blooms from June to August in most locations.

    • Native Area: Coneflower species are native to central and southeastern U.S.
    • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 8
    • Height: 24 to 36 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • 11 of 24

    Secret Passion (Echinacea 'Secret Passion')

    Secret Passion Coneflower

     National Garden Bureau

    The variable 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. 'Secret Passion is a good choice for southern gardens. 'Secret Passion' coneflowers bloom throughout the summer.

    • Native Area: Coneflower species are native to central and southeastern U.S.
    • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 10
    • Height: 24 to 36 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • 12 of 24

    Tomato Soup (Echinacea 'Tomato Soup')

    Tomato Soup Coneflower


    Barberelli / Getty Images

     

    If you are creating a patriotic red, white, and blue garden, vibrant red Tomato Soup coneflowers will bloom their hearts out throughout the summer, June through August. 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.

    A medium-sized coneflower, this variety is known for enormous flowers, a full 5 inches across.

    • Native Area: Coneflower species are native to central and southeastern U.S.
    • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 8
    • Height: 32 to 36 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
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  • 13 of 24

    Intense Orange (Echinacea KISMET® 'Intense Orange')

    Introduced in 2017 as part of the Kismet Series, 'Intense Orange' echinacea is noted for a large number of flowers in multi-tone shades ranging from deep orange to rich pumpkin. Dark green foliage complements the flowers, which continue to bloom from summer through frost.  

    • Native Area: Coneflower species are native to central and southeastern U.S.
    • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 9
    • Height: 18 to 24 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • 14 of 24

    Bigsky Sunrise (Echinacea 'Sunrise' )

    Sunrise is one of the Big Sky series (E. paradoxa crossed with E. purpurea). It has pale yellow flowers with centers that start out green and change to gold. The flowers are 5 inches across and very fragrant. This hybrid blooms throughout the summer. 

    • Native Area: Coneflower species are native to central and southeastern U.S.
    • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 9
    • Height: 30 to 36 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • 15 of 24

    Green Envy (Echinacea purpurea 'Green Envy')

    'Green Envy' is one of the more unusual coneflowers. Its flowers start out completely green, then gradually develop a halo of magenta around the center cone. This variety has a slightly shorter bloom season than other ​coneflowers (mid- to late-summer). It is a good choice for very warm climates.

    • Native Area: Coneflower species are native to central and southeastern U.S.
    • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 10
    • Height: 24 to 36 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • 16 of 24

    Razzmatazz

    Razzmatazz coneflower

    F. D. Richards / Flickr / CC By 2.0

    Razzmatazz is a true double coneflower bred in Holland. Instead of a central cone, each flower has a dome covered with short petals surrounded by a skirt of longer petals. The flowers are bright pink, blooming throughout the summer, June through August

    • Native Area: Coneflower species are native to central and southeastern U.S.
    • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 9
    • Height: 24 to 30 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
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  • 17 of 24

    Double Decker (Echinacea purpurea 'Doubledecker')

    Double decker coneflower

     

    Maria Mosolova / Getty Images

    'Double Decker' was developed from an unusual mutation in Germany. It is a pink coneflower with a unique double-layer bloom. In the first year, the plant's blooms resemble traditional pink coneflowers, but beginning in the second growing season, the second layer of shorter petals appear. This coneflower has a long bloom period from late spring to late summer, and it prefers a slightly cooler climate. 

    • Native Area: Coneflower species are native to central and southeastern U.S.
    • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 8
    • Height: 30 to 40 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • 18 of 24

    Kim's Knee High (Echinacea purpurea 'Kim's Knee High')

    Kim's Knee High coneflower

     

    gardendata / Getty Images 

    Closely resembling a traditional purple coneflower in nearly every way except size, 'Kim's Knee High' is the smallest of coneflower varieties. It is a good choice for small gardens, or wherever a more compact variety is called for. The clear pink flowers bloom from June to August.

    • Native Area: Coneflower species are native to central and southeastern U.S.
    • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 8
    • Height: 12 to 24 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • 19 of 24

    Bravado (Echinacea purpurea 'Bravado')

    Bravado coneflower

    F. D. Richards / Flickr / CC By 2.0

    ' Bravado' resembles a traditional wild coneflower on steroids. It is a robust plant that grows to fully 4 feet in height ​with large 4- to 5-inch-wide blooms that range in color from light pink to magenta rose. Unlike native varieties, Bravado holds its petals more outright, rather than curving downward. It has the typical summer-long bloom period, from June through August.

    • Native Area: Coneflower species are native to central and southeastern U.S.
    • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 9
    • Height: 36 to 48 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • 20 of 24

    Fragrant Angel (Echinacea purpurea 'Fragrant Angel')

    Fragrant angel coneflower


    TatianaMironenko / Getty Images

    'Fragrant Angel 'is part of the Prairie Pillar Series from Terra Nova Nurseries in Oregon. This new variety is considerably improved over early white forms, with large white daisy-like flowers with a striking golden-orange central cone, and petals that stand out horizontally rather than curving downward. This is quite a tall plant, and it blooms throughout the summer.

    • Native Area: Coneflower species are native to central and southeastern U.S.
    • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 9
    • Height: 48 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
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  • 21 of 24

    Big Sky Harvest Moon (Echinacea BIG SKY 'Harvest Moon')

    Big Sky Harvest Moon coneflower

     

    aceshot / Getty Images 

    This is another of the Big Sky Series produced by crossing E. purpurea and E. paradoxa. This variety has deep golden yellow petals with large, striking orange cones. Like others in this series, Harvest Moon has a good tolerance for heat and humidity, and it blooms through the entire summer period. 

    • Native Area: Coneflower species are native to central and southeastern U.S.
    • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 8
    • Height: 24 to 36 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • 22 of 24

    Mango Meadowbrite ( Echinacea 'Mango Meadowbrite™)

    Mango Meadowbrite coneflower

    Philip Bouchard / Flickr / CC By 2.0 

    'Mango Meadowbrite' has been around since 2004 but remains a favorite due to its unique shade of orange/tangerine blooms. This variety is one of the earliest blooming coneflowers, producing its unusual 3-inch wide flower in mid-summer through mid fall. Unusual for coneflowers, 'Mango Meadowbrite ' has a spicy orange aroma. 

    • Native Area: Coneflower species are native to central and southeastern U.S.
    • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 9
    • Height: 30 to 36 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • 23 of 24

    Orange Meadowbrite (Echinacea 'Orange Meadowbrite')

    Another unusual color is the 'Orange Meadowbrite' echinacea variation also sold as Art's Pride. This variety was developed at the Chicago Botanical Garden in 2004 as a cross between Echinacea purpurea 'Alba"and Echinacea paradoxa. Its continued popularity is due to its unique deep orange or coppery-orange petals surrounding dark brown central cones. This hybrid blooms from June to August.

    • Native Area: Coneflower species are native to central and southeastern U.S.
    • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 9
    • Height: 24 to 36 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade
  • 24 of 24

    Pixie Meadowbrite (Echinacea 'Meadowbrite'™)

    'Pixie Meadowbrite' represents one of the best dwarf varieties. It produces traditional-looking purple flowers in dense masses that are quite unusual for most coneflower varieties. Like the other 'Meadowbrite' varieties, this one was developed at the Chicago Botanical Garden. It has the typical summer-long bloom season found in most coneflowers.

    • Native Area: Coneflower species are native to central and southeastern U.S.
    • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 9
    • Height: 12 to 24 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun

Coneflowers are one of the most trouble-free of all perennial flowers, but overwatering is a common issue. These plants like well-drained, dryer soils, and if they are watered too frequently, root rot and fungal diseases such as powdery mildew can occur. This is one plant where less is more when it comes to caring for them.