Echinacea – also known as coneflower – is a terrific perennial for Michigan flower beds.
Beautiful, butterfly attracting, deer resistant flowers bloom most of the summer in sunny locations. New colors and new varieties make this plant one of the best choices.
Echinacea sounds more like a disease than a plant you would want in your garden. And if you read the Wikipedia description, it still seems like something to stay away from. Maybe that’s why people commonly refer to it as Coneflower. In spite of its name, it’s a great plant!
Coneflower performs best in full locations is drought tolerant, easy to grow, helps pollinators and can be used for medicinal purposes. They enjoy being planted with other drought tolerant perennials including sedum, rudbeckia and daylilies. Coneflowers tend to be pretty care free in the garden but do benefit when you prune off the dead flowers and/or cut the blooms to use as cut flowers. The few times I have seen them not looking good in the garden is when they are planted in a part-sun to shade area or a place where they are getting too wet.
Coneflowers are a good source of food for pollinators – especially bees. Bees are an important part of our environment because they help move pollen from one plant to another which is necessary for the food we eat and the natural ecosystem. Bees have struggled recently in Michigan and are less abundant than before. Coneflowers are one of several flowers that are helpful to bees and therefore helping to our natural world.