Plant name: Echinacea ‘CBG Cone2’ PPAF Pixie Meadowbrite™
Virtues: A true dwarf plant growing to 18 inches tall with a 24-inch spread.
Bloom: Medium pink horizontal petals.
Leaf/Foliage: Dense green foliage, with a glaucous tinge.
Goes great with: Everything! Pink is back in fashion and blends in to any landscape.
Habit: Dwarf, mounding.
Season: Blooms July through September.
Suggested by: Nicholas Staddon of Monrovia Nursery. (http://www.monrovia.com)
Where does it come from: Echinacea Pixie Meadowbrite is a product of three plants crossbred by Dr. Jim Ault from the Chicago Botanical Garden. Echinacea tennesseensis, E. purpurea, and E. augustifolia were selected for breeding for specific traits. E. tennesseensis for its low, bushy habit, floriferousness, long bloom season, and longevity. Under our conditions in Chicago, this species lives longer than any other coneflower. Also, it has good drought tolerance (native to limestone glades in Tennessee). E. purpurea was chosen for its general good garden adaptability and hardiness. A standard magenta form was used. E. angustifolia was selected for its drought tolerance and cold hardiness. Dr. Jim Ault used germplasm from the Dakotas, which is not showy, but used for its toughness. He crossed the most bushy and compact plants he had for each of the above species, which produced the generation that included Pixie. A compact bushy plant was his end goal all along. Pixie seems to have captured the best traits of all three parents, which include vigor, durability in the ground, a naturally low bushy habit, and a profusion of blooms over a long season.
Tips: Use in a perennial border or in a cutting garden (super pencil thick stems make this the best cutting plant). Pixie Meadowbrite works well in containers because of its dwarf habit, and also fits into a dryland program due to the breeding. USDA hardiness zones 3-9.
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