Earth Sky Time

In the garden and beyond


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Flowers for Butterflies, Bees and Birds

‘Hot Papaya’ 

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‘Hot Summer’ 

 

Did you know that nectar rich coneflowers (Echinacea) are a magnet for butterflies, bees, moths and birds? They bloom well into September here in Zone 6. Today is the third day of an unusual September heat wave, which makes these cultivars worthy of consideration.

‘Hot Papaya,’ the first double orange cultivar introduced by Burpee, is heralded as “a breeding breakthrough; the vibrant orange tones are made more spectacular by the dense-packed dome of orange petals. Interesting to view up-close and dazzling en masse. Plants are easy to grow, drought tolerant and butterflies’ delight.”

‘Hot Summer,’ also a Burpee exclusive, has “flexed ray flowers that open yellow-orange, aging to orange, then deep reddish-orange, offering a spectrum of fiery colors.” ‘Hot Summer’ is also fragrant!

Leave dried seed heads of coneflowers on the plants in fall to supply food for finches and other birds and provide visual interest in winter.