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Garden Delights

A selection of thoughts and ramblings about life in the garden.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

The Humble Coneflower

I call it humble, but it's really a truly lovely and almost indestructible plant.

Be it purple or yellow or some shade inbetween, it blooms for what seems like forever. And afterwards it leaves behind a huge bristly cone, filled with seeds that the birds love. You have to be quick if you want to beat the birds to the seeds.

While there are many designer varieties out there, mine are the standard wildflower variety. This means mine vary in shape and size and tend to pop up here and there if they feel like it.

And they pop up in the most inhospitable places.

They wander around the front flower bed under a mature maple tree where anything else has to fight to survive.

The grow under the overhang of my tri-level house where nothing else wants to grow.

They grow in shade.

They grow in sun.

They grow in rock hard clay.

Sometimes I think they'll grow in water too. They seem to grow just about any place else.

It's fun to watch the cones get big too. They start out a flat flower, but at the flowers get pollenated the seeds start to grow. As the seeds grow, the center of the flower turns into that 'cone' that gives it it's name. The purple ones are spiny. I've been known to use a pliers to get the seeds out.

Birds, bees and butterflies love them.

I think I do too.


At 10:56 PM, Blogger Sue said...

I think a coneflower tagged along to Albuquerque with another plant. It has been growing straight and tall next to the other mysterious plant. It even bloomed. But now the stalks have drooped over significantly, and down close to the earth, they feel almost mushy.

We had a strong rain here yesterday; in fact my rain barrel is almost full. But the poor coneflower seems waterlogged. Any advice?


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