Echinacea purpurea 'Green Jewel'
Common name: Coneflower
Echinacea, commonly called coneflower, has been in cultivation since the 1700s. It is an herbaceous perennial native to North America, and belongs to the family Asteraceae. It was used by early Native Americans to treat wounds and infections. Echinacea likes a sunny, well-drained location, but thrives on neglect.
Echinacea purpurea 'Green Jewel' is noted for its unusual flower colour, soft green rays with dark green cones, that sit atop sturdy upright stems. The flowers, which are large and lightly fragrant, make excellent cut flowers. E. purpurea 'Green Jewel' blooms from summer into autumn.
E. purpurea 'Green Jewel', like other coneflowers, is attractive to butterflies and other insect pollinators. Birds such as goldfinches will feed on the seeds in the blackened cones in autumn.
E. purpurea 'Green Jewel' was bred in Hummelo, the Netherlands, by Dutch landscape designer, nurseryman, and author Piet Oudolf and introduced by Future Plants in 2008. The genus name comes from the Greek word echinos meaning hedgehog or sea urchin in reference to the spiny centre cone of the flower.
Echinacea purpurea 'Green Jewel' can be found in Bed 96 of the Backyard Bird Garden.
Text and photos by Kumi Sutcliffe