University of Vermont Extension System
Department of Plant and Soil Science

Perennials this Month - January 1998

Dr. Leonard P. Perry, Extension Professor, University of Vermont

Click to see a larger photo.

Plant of the Month: Echinacea purpurea 'Magnus'

(eh-kin-aa' cee-ah pur-pur' ee'ah)

Common name: Magnus Purple Coneflower

Family: Asteraceae, Aster

Height x width: 2-4' high x 2' wide

Growth rate: moderate to fast

Foliage: dark green, alternate, simple, 3-4" long, often clasp the stem

Flowers: rosy purple, slightly reflexed petals surrounding brownish cone, to 4" across being larger than most other cultivars

Hardiness: zones 3-4 to 8

Soil: most

Light: sun

Pests and problems: fungal leaf spots, virus, mites, aphids, thrips

Landscape habit, uses: borders, native meadows, butterfly gardens; nice combined with other native plants such as Filipendula, Monarda, and ornamental grasses

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); Perennial Plant of the Year for 1998; introduced to commerce by German seedsman Klaus Jelitto, originally being selected from native U.S. plants by Swedish nurseryman Magnus Nilsson near Paarp, Sweden.

Other culture: readily self sows

Propagation: seed, division

Sources: many; as always, check with your local garden center or perennial nursery


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