Coneflowers are well loved as wildflowers, perennial garden flowers, and medicinal herbs. Now you can add "fragrant cut flowers" to their list of assets.
Echinacea 'Sunrise' and Echinacea 'Sunset' are two new crosses of Echinacea purpurea and E. paradoxa that feature sweetly fragrant flowers and pencil-thick stems that are great for cutting.
'Sunrise' grows 18 to 24 inches tall, producing 5-inch-diameter, deep yellow flowers. 'Sunset' grows 30 inches tall and produces 4-inch-diameter, brilliant orange blooms.
Both varieties of echinacea are hardy in USDA zones 4 to 9. They are available at mail-order nurseries, such as Wayside Gardens (www.waysidegardens.com).