Thursday, August 28, 2008

Doubledecker Coneflower


An internet search yielded this brief history of Doubledecker Coneflower:
A German plantsman, Eugen Schleipfer found an Echinacea plant that looked very different from the others. After years of selection, a reliable seed strain with two tiered flowers resulted. A set of shorter petals rests on top of the cone while a "skirt" of longer, deep rose-pink petals emerge from the base of the cone. First year plants sometimes produce single flowers. From the second year forward, a high percentage of two tiered flowers appear with either a single or double set of petals. Occasionally, older plants produce single flowers.


I purchased this as a very small plant 3 years ago from a mail order company. It had only bloomed with single flowers the past two summers, so I was excited this year when I saw some pink flower petals beginning to sprout out of the center cone! I wanted to wait to photograph them until they were fully formed, but unfortunately by the time that happened the original flower was already beginning to brown, as you can see by the tips of the petals.



A single bloom, growing out of the original flower. They have a somewhat 'messy' look.



This top flower is double and almost dwarfs the original flower.....making it look a bit top heavy!



Less than half of the flowers on my plant exhibited the double flower characteristic, so it will be interesting to observe, next year and beyond....to see if a greater percentage of flowers will display this trait. I think perhaps this variety is still a little unstable, but 'Doppelganger' (it's German name) is an interesting plant, adding an unusual charm to the cottage garden.


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Fun Fact: The word "echinacea" comes from the Greek word "echinos" meaning "hedgehog", referring to the flower's spiky central cone.



15 comments:

Becky said...

How unusual and striking! You excell in gardening and I am always impressed with the pictures you post and the information you give us. I guess I am a lazy gardener by comparison.

Rhonda said...

I had a couple of my coneflowers do this though I believe mine are just an oddity as I didn't purchase the double type. It's a beautiful and unusual bloom isn't it? Let us know if your plant continues to bloom in the double.

Jane Marie said...

Not only unusual but drop dead gorgeous color. I never heard of this one so I will look for it in catalogs. I'm sure it is not in any greenhouses around here.

Eve said...

How wonderful is that? I didn't know they did that! That is a lot of pretty photos. I only get double decker tomatoes.

Leslie said...

I bought a tiny doppleganger plant and lost it the first winter. Now I'm really sorry! your's is lovely.

cindee said...

I love the double deckers. yours is just beautiful!!!(-:

Cat said...

Finally, another post from your cottage to ours, thank you! The uniqueness and beauty are surely ones to be recorded. And, another tour is in the future, I hope. When do you get up this way? C.

Beth said...

Connie - that's a lovely flower. My coneflowers were diseased this year and I had to yank them out. I'll have to consider this double-decker variety - love the color too.

O.I.M said...

that's an interesting look. sort of like bed-head for echinacea. I think I prefer old-fashioned single bloom purple coneflowers but it's always great to try something new. You never know when a bloom will completely bowl you over.
cheers
irena

Garden Lily said...

Gorgeous! I started a few from seed this year, but they still very tiny. Hopefully they will at least start to bloom next year. It's good to know what I can look forward to, after a few years, anyhow. Your photos captured the colour beautifully - nice job!

Me said...

I have freakish coneflowers that start to to it but never go all the way. However, like Rhonda, I didn't buy the double variety. The full double is very striking.

Defining Your Home said...

Hi,
I also love echinacea. 'Ruby Star' is my favorite. I had to test it for deer resistance before adding more to my garden. So far, so good! Now, I'm looking at a good double to add. Your info is great!
Thanks,
Cameron (www.definingyourhome.blogspot.com)

chey said...

Very interesting indeed!!! I've not seen one like this before.

Shady Gardener said...

I like them! A lot! :-) Do you think they're any more mildew resistant?

Connie said...

Shady Gardener - I'm sorry I can't answer your question re: mildew. We have hot dry summers here...so don't have that problem, thankfully.