Plants

Echinacea, Rudbeckia and summer grasses

Posted by pph 01.08. 2011 12:00:47 (9586 readers)

‘Heat’ is a powerful sensory stimulus – look at how it is used in advertising everything from perfumes to cars. Heat equates to danger, excitement, sexual attraction. Plants can very much evoke a sense of heat too, with vivid colours setting the pulse racing. Rudbeckia and Echinacea are two prairie flowers that love it as the mercury climbs and look just right shimmering in the sun. Add into the mix the calming balance of some flowering grasses and you have a ready-made planting combination that will cope with the driest of summers.

Echinacea purpurea Magnus - purple coneflower (PPH)

Echinacea purpurea Magnus - purple coneflower (PPH)

Rudbeckia and Echinacea are quite similar plants, both with a North American, prairie heritage, but the hairy leaves of Echinea are a handy clue for distinguishing one from the other. Both are superb border perennials, combine well with ornamental grasses and are attractive to butterflies. They’ll add glorious colour through the summer months and will look impressive in open woodland settings or as part of meadows of wild flower areas. They love full sun but will be equally at home in light shade.

Rudbeckia fulgidaGoldsturm’ (popularly known as Black eyed susan) is one of the most outstanding varieties available. It has charismatic yellow, daisy-like flowers that are 9-12cm across on stems of up to 60cm. However, it is short enough not to need staking, does not form big clumps too quickly and has a very long flowering period, substantially increased if flowers are ‘deadheaded’ as they fade.

Echinacea purpurea is an absolute winner, flowering from August through to October (depending on location). Colour options include purple-red, in the case of ‘Bright star’ through the deep purple of ‘Magnus’ to the pure white of ‘White Lustre’ and ‘White Swan’. Echinacea purpurea reaches 1.5m in height and a spread of 50cm. They are fully hardy and thrive on well-drained chalk, loam or sand.

Summer flowering grasses (the ‘flowers’ are the highly decorative seedheads) are adaptable and can grow successfully even in poorer soils. They are extremely versatile and perfect for centrepiece positions. As they move in the breeze they bring sound and motion to the garden giving it a wide open space feel. Grasses are a soft and sympathetic element in the garden and offer the ideal counterpoint to hot, sexy flowers.

Look out for members of the Pennisetum family. Pennisetum alopecuroidesHameln’ is compact, with bottle-brush flowerheads and dark green leaves that turn golden-yellow in autumn. The leaves of Pennisetum villosum can reach up to 60cm in length and take on a purple hue when fully grown. Pennisetum orientale is a mound forming grass with dark green leaves and bears beautiful flowerheads up to 14cm long. Other suggestions of great grasses are: Zebra grass (Miscanthus) or reed grass (Calamagrostis).

Once established, these grasses and perennials are delightfully low maintenance. In autumn, it’s good to cut stems down to the base to encourage strong re-growth in spring. This means that ‘hot summer colour’ doesn’t have to be hard work, leaving plenty of time for the serious business of outdoor enjoyment.
Echinacea purpurea - Rudbeckia p. (PPH)

Echinacea purpurea - Rudbeckia p. (PPH)

Rudbeckia fulgida sulivanti - Black eyed susan (PPH)

Rudbeckia fulgida sulivanti - Black eyed susan (PPH)

Colour your Life
www.colour-your-life.co.uk
Index: ARTICLES echinacea, grasses, rudbeckia, summer, DISCUSSION FORUM echinacea, grasses, rudbeckia, summer, PHOTO GALLERY echinacea, grasses, rudbeckia, summer, PHOTO GALLERY DF echinacea, grasses, rudbeckia, summer, INDEX OF ARTICLES: ECH...
10 new Articles in this Topic
1)Drosera adelae - Lance-Leafed Sundew (7079 readers)18.10. 2007 09:21:07
Drosera adelae (Lace-Leaf Australian Sundew Origin: Australia The tiny paddle-like hairy leaves are covered with drops of sticky goo, which trap insects that are attracted to the plant. In summer the
2)Panax ginseng - Asian ginseng (7909 readers)15.10. 2007 20:49:16
Korean Ginseng is part of the Araliaceae family and is also known as Panax, Asian, or Chinese ginseng. It is the original ginseng, and is the one revered most by the Chinese. It is very rare in the wi
3)Archontophoenix alexandrae - Alexandra Palm (7637 readers)13.10. 2007 10:33:48
The King Palm is one of the most beautiful and stately palms. Its smooth, green trunk is tall, slender, and predominantly ringed. Its intricate dark green foliage is 8-10 feet in length. The King Palm
4)Michelia champaca - Yellow Jade Orchid Tree (12146 readers)11.10. 2007 08:50:01
Also known as Huang Yu Lan . It is the oil of this michelia that is the essence of JOY, the worlds most expensive perfume. It can grow from a trunk of 16 inch into a giant tree over 30 feet. On the ti
5)Ficus benjamina 'Starlight' - Weeping Fig (23704 readers)07.10. 2007 20:11:57
The Starlight Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina Starlight is a new variegated form of durable green Weeping Fig. Just like its green counterpart, Starlight prefers very bright indirect light. Keep evenly m
6)Cycas revoluta - Japanese Sago Palm (11835 readers)07.10. 2007 19:06:22
This unique plant resembles a palm tree but is actually a cycad. These living fossils, members of the Cycadaceae family, dominated the landscape during the Mesozoic era over 150 million years ago. Tod
7)Dictospermum album var rubrum - Hurricane Palm (5198 readers)20.09. 2007 08:00:53
Native to the Mascarene islands. Long arching fronds with broad leaflets to 3 having a blackish grey trunk to 30. Known for flowering at early age and for its bulging base and large crownshaft. Beauti
8)Capsicum chinense 'Hot Paper Lantern' - Hot Pepper (13822 readers)18.09. 2007 11:21:00
Earlier and much more productive in the North than regular habaneros. Magnificent, elongated and wrinkled, lantern-shaped fruits are 3-4 long. Bigger than our regular habaneros, they pack the same mou
9)Tillandsia cyanea 'Pink Quill' - Air Plant (26499 readers)14.09. 2007 08:46:34
Lava rock from the Big Island of Hawaii is hand selected to provide a home for your Pink Quill Tillandsia plant. These exotic plants thrive on their rock homes and make excellent house, dormitory or o
10)Cynara scolymus - Globe Artichoke (10375 readers)05.09. 2007 08:49:32
Globe Artichokes were cultivated by the Greeks and Romans who obtained them from North Africa. They have been grown in England since at least the 1500s and were considered an aristocratic vegetable. K
českyslovenskyenglishdeutschpolsky
Who's Online 370

Other

Advertisement
Westfalia Onlineshop