University of Vermont Extension
Department of Plant and Soil Science

Perennial of the Month - January 2001

Echinacea purpurea 'White Swan', 'White Lustre'

(eh-kin-aa' cee-ah)

Common name: Coneflower

Family: Asteraceae, Aster

Height x width: 2-4' x 2'

Growth rate: moderate to fast

Foliage: dark green, alternate, simple, often clasp the stem

Flowers: white, slightly reflexed petals surrounding yellow cone center; 'White Lustre' supposedly has a more bronze-orange center, but I notice little difference in my gardens. White Lustre does have more horizontal white ray florets, and being vegetatively propagated tends to be more uniform.

Hardiness: zones 3-4 to 8

Soil: most

Light: sun

Pests and problems: seldom a problem outdoors, but occasionallyfungal leaf spots, virus, mites, aphids, thrips

Landscape habit, uses: borders, native meadows, butterfly gardens

Other interest:very attractive to butterflies, genus name from prickly lower stem resembling a hedgehog (Latin echinos), popular for medicinal use from vitamin C supplement to colds to other attributed uses, good cut or dried flower (cone); good winter effect

Other culture: readily self sows

Propagation: seed, division

Sources: many seed catalogs, garden stores, perennial catalogs and nurseries

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