What springs to mind when you think of the beach? Could it be the soft white sand, or the sound of the surf? For me, it’s a vision of beach umbrellas lined up alongside each other in all different colours and patterns. That’s what Echinacea Pretty Parasols reminds me of!
How to grow Echinacea Pretty Parasols:
Flowering time: July – October
Location: In beds, borders and patio containers
Soil: Moist and well-drained
Light: Full sun/partial shade
Water: Water regularly throughout growing and flowering period
Care: Cut back dead flower stems to the ground in autumn, then apply mulch. Lift and divide congested plants in spring.
Size: Mature height of 90-120cm, width of 50cm
How was this plant created?
Jan Spruyt of Belgium-based breeders Jan Spruyt-Van der Jeugd wanted to achieve the wild aspect and character of an Echinacea purpurea, combined with the long lifespan of a Echinacea pallida. He was amazed by the colour of the plant’s inflorescence, but the dark green, shiny leaf colour was also particularly special to him.
The biggest issue in breeding this plant, however, was finding a lab that believed in his selection, as most were put off by the drooping petals. Jan subsequently applied for Plant breeders’ Rights because he believed in this variety, even though at that point there were no interested candidates for mass production. Plantipp then picked up the variety, and Echinacea was in trade after three to four years!
What’s different about this plant?
Echinacea Pretty Parasols’ pendulous petals are so unique! These large blooms sit atop strong, often multi-headed stems, producing flowers in succession and at varying heights throughout the summer. It is greatly suited to informal planting schemes and minimal-maintenance gardens, as it is a reliable hardy perennial and will come back with masses of flowers each year when established.
Where can you plant Echinacea Pretty Parasols?
This plant is well suited to bed and borders, but will also work in large containers. Thanks to its ability to withstand wind and rain, it can be planted in an exposed area, and even in coastal gardens.
Where can you buy this plant?
Plant of the Month is sponsored by Plantipp, a company based in The Netherlands who handle the introduction of new plants into Europe.
See every Plant of the Month here.
Michael has been involved with gardening and plants since he was just five years old. He is a self-professed Plant Geek, and was listed in the Sunday Times top 20 most influential people in the gardening world, thanks to his plant hunter role at Thompson & Morgan.
Michael was responsible for new plant introductions such as the Egg and Chips plant and the FuchsiaBerry and keeps busy travelling the world in search of new plants as well as lecturing worldwide, including stints in Japan. He is very active on social media – so why not give him a follow at @mr_plantgeek or Facebook. You can also listen to The Plant Based Podcast with Michael and co-host Ellen-Mary on iTunes, Spotify and Google.