Monday, August 22, 2011

Coneflower conundrum

So, a couple of years ago I planted an orange coneflower (sunset was in the name). This year, here is a stem from it:

Yes, it now has orange and purple flowers on the same stem.

Some questions for my more experienced gardening friends:  There is a purple coneflower planted fairly close. Would this color change have happened anyway, or is it something about having the purple one so close?  And will it always have both colors, or will it eventually become all purple?


  1. I wish I could answer this for sure for you, Renee. I would look closely and see if the purple bloom might be a separate plant. I know that many hybrids revert to the original parent color when they re-seed, but I've never heard of coneflowers doing this. I have a 'Big Sky Sunset', too; I think I'll keep it away from any of the purple coneflowers just in case.

  2. Hi, Renee! Sunset is a hybrid from the Big Sky series, but it is not stable. It throws back,(what you are seeing), or the flower is mutated. It has done some very interesting things, folks brought it in all summer, trying to figure out what happened. Although I have never seen it revert on the same stem, I am rarely surprised, any more!
    Several online nurseries are refunding $, if you purchased online, I would check!