Tennessee Coneflower (Echinacea tennesseensis 'Rocky Top') in the Coneflowers Database

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Tennessee Coneflower
Give a thumbs up Coneflower

Also sold as:
Rocky Top Hybrids

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 5a -28.9 °C (-20 °F) to -26.1 °C (-15 °F)
Plant Height: 24 inches
Plant Spread: 18 inches
Flowers: Showy
Fragrant
Flower Color: Pink
Purple
Flower Time: Summer
Late summer or early fall
Uses: Cut Flower
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Butterflies
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Propagation: Other methods: Division
Containers: Suitable in 3 gallon or larger

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Comments:
Posted by Bluespiral (Oella, MD - Zone 7b) on Oct 23, 2015 1:29 PM

This plant was originally purchased from a local nursery, and we have been enjoying its flowers while deer mosey through, leaving them untouched. I have also been collecting seed for seed exchanges from this flower, and was startled to learn from a very knowledgeable friend that E. tennesseensis was originally considered sterile and did not produce seeds. She thinks seeds that come from this plant might be a result of E. tennesseensis crossing with E. purpurea, somewhere in the past.

Some years, during July - August, she drives through the Kentucky mountains, and over the border in Tennessee, looms a mountain with its peak above the clouds, with this wild flower blooming near its top.

Why did she tell me this? Because I called this flower "boring". The mountain's name is Rarity.

ps - In 2011, E. tennesseensis was taken off the Endangered Species List, although it is still considered endangered by the USDA. According to the Missouri Botanical Garden*, [the Tennessee Coneflower must be isolated several miles from other echinacea species to maintain its genetic integrity.]

*http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=r430. Last sentence is paraphrased from this link.

pps - Now, how does a sterile wild flower flourish on earth without making seeds for millions of years? Same question might apply to the ubiquitous ditch lily - how can Hemerocallis fulva survive so successfully without making seeds??

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