Tag Archives: Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea-A Big Draw

Echinacea draws a variety of insects.

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus) on Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Its latest appreciator is this pretty Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus), a familiar and common butterfly in this area. The name misrepresents its spot color, which is white not silver.

For a moment a honeybee vied with the skipper for this flower, but it soon left amicably and settled on the coneflower in back.

The bee bounces in at 7 seconds into this video.

We could use some rain, a lot of rain actually. Hope your garden is making you happy.

Fine Outdoor Dining

Summertime and outdoor dining go together and Echinacea (Purple Coneflower) was an attractive menu option this afternoon in the front side garden.

American painted lady (Vanessa virginiensis) has been around a few times in previous years.

American painted lady (Vanessa virginiensis)

American painted lady (Vanessa virginiensis)

This is the first time I have noticed the other butterfly, which I believe is Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus).  Both were difficult to photograph as they flitted from one flower to the next and darted away when I got too near. The coneflower’s appeal soon drew them back, allowing me to get a bit closer.

Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus)

Zebra Swallowtail (Eurytides marcellus)

 

Early July Notebook

It has been another week without rain and several more 95°F days have pushed some plants over the brink, including a Phlox paniculata ‘David’ I bought in May. ‘David’ is a sophisticated white phlox that grew well in my former garden and I have been trying for years to establish it here. Seeing its sad state spurred me to water the entire garden thoroughly Thursday evening, but the effort was too late to save that new phlox I think.

Meanwhile pinkish things are blooming and thriving.

Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower) and Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox)

Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower) and Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox)

Purchased the end of April, this stubby foxglove may have been mislabeled as Digitalis purpurea ‘Camelot Rose.’ It is supposed to be 35-47 inches (90-120 cm) but while attractive, it is more like 12 inches tall. ‘Camelot Rose’ flowers in its first and second year. This one is finally blooming many weeks later than another variety in the same border. Maybe it will achieve its true height in the second year.

Digitalis purpurea ‘Camelot Rose’  (Foxglove ‘Camelot Rose’)

Digitalis purpurea ‘Camelot Rose’ (Foxglove ‘Camelot Rose’)

Digitalis purpurea ‘Camelot Rose’  (Foxglove ‘Camelot Rose’)

Digitalis purpurea ‘Camelot Rose’ (Foxglove ‘Camelot Rose’)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) is attracting lots of bees. I have begun deadheading some of it, but the best bee photos always seem to be those where the flower has faded. At least one flower looks fresh.

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Gaura lindheimeri ‘Passionate Blush’ is looking better than it has in years. Although I cut it back, it is still flopping but at least this summer it is blooming.

Gaura lindheimeri 'Passionate Blush' (Butterfly Gaura)

Gaura lindheimeri ‘Passionate Blush’ (Butterfly Gaura)

Gaura lindheimeri 'Passionate Blush' (Butterfly Gaura)

Gaura lindheimeri ‘Passionate Blush’ (Butterfly Gaura)

When I could not find my preferred blue Angelonia this spring to use as the meditation labyrinth’s walls, I ended up using some lavender and some darker shades of pink on one side of the circle. I think Angelonia angustifolia ‘Archangel Dark Rose’ is on the left below and ‘Raspberry’ is on the right.

Angelonia angustifolia ‘Archangel Dark Rose’ and A. ‘Raspberry’

Most of the outer wall of the meditation circle is actually planted in white, specifically Angelonia ’Serena White.’ Hot temperatures arrived in late spring before the young plants had time to get established, but with judicious water they have filled in nicely and finally are acclimated after many weeks.

Angelonia ’Serena White’ and Various Thymes in Meditation Circle

Angelonia ’Serena White’ and Various Thymes in Meditation Circle

Many thymes are planted in the circle. The center is largely covered in Thymus serpyllum ‘Pink Chintz.’

Thymus serpyllum 'Pink Chintz' (Pink chintz thyme) in Meditation Circle

Thymus serpyllum ‘Pink Chintz’ (Pink chintz thyme) in Meditation Circle

Not everything in the garden is pink. This morning I was thrilled to see this Iris domestica (Blackberry Lily) in flower. I had wanted to add Blackberry Lily to the garden for years and finally came across one in April at my favorite garden center. Then, when I was cutting back iris leaves a few weeks ago, I trimmed its foliage back accidentally. I assumed I had lost the chance of seeing it bloom this year, so spotting this orange color today was a nice surprise.

Iris domestica (Blackberry Lily)

Iris domestica (Blackberry Lily)

Speaking of iris leaves, this little skipper was perfectly content to sit on one in the early morning sun today.

Skipper On Iris Leaf

Skipper On Iris Leaf

Bees were everywhere this morning. This Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’ was knocked down by wind a couple of weeks ago and I propped it back up as best I could. The bees do not seem to mind that the huge stalks are still leaning.

Bee On Rudbeckia hirta 'Irish Eyes'

Bee On Rudbeckia hirta ‘Irish Eyes’

Blue Sky salvia has its own admirers.

Bee On Salvia uliginosa 'Blue Sky' (Bog sage)

Bee On Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage)

Bee On Salvia uliginosa 'Blue Sky' (Bog sage)

Bee On Salvia uliginosa ‘Blue Sky’ (Bog sage)

Next to the back steps the first dark red flower has opened on a passalong dahlia from Libby at An Eye For Detail. Last year was the first time I really took an interest in growing dahlias. The one planted late last summer overwintered but has yet to bloom. This spring I bought tubers of several red and purple dahlias and I hope they will carry the garden through the summer and into fall.

Dahlia sp.

Dahlia sp.

Post 550—Flowers And Insects

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Hemerocallis (Daylily)

It is just a number, but having arrived here, I like the idea of marking my 550th post.

Most days this week I have enjoyed the garden by getting up early, between 5:00-6:00 a.m., to take pictures, water certain plants and spend some time in quiet reflection before the neighborhood starts bustling. A red Daylily started flowering a week ago, this yellow one opened today.

Wednesday I noticed a colorful creature spiraling an Allium Atropurpureum. Perhaps someone will be able to help me identify it.

Allium Atropurpureum

Allium Atropurpureum

Scattered all around the garden, Echinacea purpurea has been reliable in the heat. Some planting of echinacea received no extra water during this drought, but I watered this section fairly regularly since I was watering nearby. Even drought-tolerant plants such as this one respond positively to some attention.

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) Along Back of Northern Border

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) Along Back of Northern Border

Bees are becoming active at this early time of day, but frequently during my walks I have come upon them asleep on Echinacea and once, on Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ (Catmint).

Nepeta 'Walker's Low' (Catmint)

Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ (Catmint)

Another bee pair was lazily hanging out on the spire of a Liatris spicata. This one is the only liatris that has kept its dignity during the recent heat wave.

Liatris spicata

Liatris spicata

Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox) came into its own this week. Along with Cleome it helped to fill in some gaps along the fence in the western border, attracting more bees at the same time.

Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox)

Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox)

Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)

Cleome hassleriana (Spider Flower)

Bee on Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox)

Bee on Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox)

A recent addition to the garden, Ruellia brittoniana ‘Purple Showers’ (Mexican petunia) is taking its time getting adjusted to its new home. Eventually it should make a nice large clump and overwinter, I hope. There are  a couple of new flowers each morning, gone later in the day—the bunny or some other phenomenon? I have not seen the rabbits in 4 or 5 days nor have I come upon an abandoned little blue velvet jacket.

Ruellia brittoniana ‘Purple Showers’ (Mexican petunia)

Ruellia brittoniana ‘Purple Showers’ (Mexican petunia)

Under the screened porch a long border was overtaken years ago by Shasta Daisies. When they first come into bloom they are fresh and inviting.

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Leucanthemum x superbum (Shasta Daisy)

Always too quick for my camera on a few mornings there was a single hummingbird sipping among the Monarda didyma (Scarlet Beebalm). The blooms are drying out so one time the tiny bird caught a a long red petal in its long beak instead of finding nectar—I could almost see it trying to spit it out.

Last night a huge storm passed us right by and hovered instead over the town of Chapel Hill. Several friends reported hail damage. Tonight a smaller storm carried some light rain our way for 45 minutes. The bird baths were filled only half-way, but the water should help refresh the garden. Have a great weekend.