Cheyenne Spirit EchinaceaEchinacea hybrid ‘Cheyenne Spirit'
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Echinacea hybrid ‘Cheyenne Spirit'
Outdoor Growing zone
Full Sun, Partial Sun
The Cheyenne Spirit Coneflower is a herbaceous perennial plant, dying down to the roots in winter and bouncing back stronger than ever the next spring. It grow to around 2 feet tall, with sturdy, self-supporting flower stems, topped with large, showy blooms from mid-summer into the fall. The colors range from cream through gold to shades of orange, as well as different reds and light purple. Plant in groups to enjoy the color palette, and grow it anywhere, from flower borders to areas of rough grass. If you leave the seed cones for the winter they will bring seed-eating birds like goldfinches to your garden.
Full sun is best for the Cheyenne Spirit Coneflower, although some partial shade is fine in hot zones. It grows in all kinds of soils, from rich garden soil to poor rough soil, and urban soils, as long as they are well-drained. Once established it is very drought-resistant, and untouched by pests or deer. A once-a-year cut down of the flowering stems is all it takes to keep it growing in your garden for years.
Nothing says, ‘American Prairies’ like the coneflower, a beloved native plant that grows across large parts of this country. It’s light purple flowers and big reddish center are iconic grassland plants. With a spirit of adventure, the Cheyenne Spirit Coneflower will be a centerpiece in your garden, bringing that same toughness in flowers that are wonderful shades of gold, oranges, purples and reds. No two plants are identical, but all blend together perfectly to make a floral tapestry in your garden. This great plant is ideal for mass-planting in your beds, bringing you summer-long bloom with uplifting tones that will make every day better. Easy to grow and quick to bloom, these great plants will brighten all your garden, and they are the perfect way to turn an area of rough grass into a prairie re-creation tribute.
The Cheyenne Spirit Coneflower is a perennial herbaceous plant, dying back in fall, only to reappear stronger and better the next spring. It forms a low mound of arrow-shaped dark-green leaves that are rough to the touch, with short hairs across their surface. Within a couple of years it will have formed a dense, vigorous clump. In midsummer tall stems rise above the leaves, with scattered smaller leaves on them reaching a height of 2 feet or more. These branch out, carrying multiple blooms, so that even one mature plant carries many blooms throughout the second-half of the summer and into the fall.
The flowers are large and showy, up to 5 inches across, with a radiating circle of petals surrounding a rough, cone-shaped center that is dark red-brown. The petals are held out more-or-less horizontally, only hanging downwards when the flowers mature. This plant is reproduced from seed, and so we can’t predict exactly what color the flowers will be, but they have been created to blend together, and could be white, pale-yellow, gold, many shades of orange, rose-red, tomato-red, light-purple or scarlet. Individual flowers last for weeks, and this plant keeps on looking good for months. When fall sets in the petals fall but the fat ‘cones’ remain, and the stems stay upright well into the winter, packed with seeds that attract goldfinches and other seed-eating birds to your garden.
The great thing about this coneflower is how versatile it is. It looks great in a formal border with other perennials or flowering shrubs, and it looks just as great in cottage gardens, natural gardens, xeric gardens and in completely natural, grassy settings too. It is most effective planted in groups, so grow 3, 5 or more plants together, to make a color-splash and enjoy the blend of colors. Space plants 12 to 18 inches apart for a showy display. You can also plant it in areas of rough ground, scattering plants around naturally. Let the grasses grow up, and make a dull area bright with color. The flowers attract butterflies, and bees enjoy them too.
This tough native plant grows in zone 4, and just as well in zone 9, enjoying Illinois and Florida equally.
Full sun will give you the best growth and flowering from your Cheyenne Spirit Coneflowers. In the hottest zones some partial shade is appreciated, especially in very dry ground. This plant thrives in almost all soils, as long as they are not wet. It will grow larger in richer soils, but it’s happy in poor ground too, and grows just about anywhere, including urban gardens and wild spaces.
Removing the spent flowers once the petals begin to discolor will encourage more blooms, but you can also leave them into the winter for wild birds. Cut the stems a couple of inches above the ground, in fall or early spring, and that’s it for the year. In rough ground, mow the area annually, in early spring, before plants begin to sprout. This plant is entirely self-supporting and needs no staking or ties. It is normally pest and disease free, and coming from the prairies it needs to be deer-proof, which it is. If you don’t remove the flower heads, keep a look out for seedlings coming up in spring, to add to your collection. They bloom within a year or two at the most.
The coneflowers, or Echinacea, are a small group of 10 species, fairly similar to each other, that grow only in eastern and central North America, on prairie grasslands and open woods. They are an important part of the prairie ecosystem that once covered vast parts of this country. The most widely grown in gardens is Echinacea purpurea, whose purple flowers, with drooping petals, has been grown in gardens here and in Europe for centuries. It can be found wild all the way from Ohio to Georgia.
The variety ‘Cheyenne Spirit’ was developed by Dr. Ping Rem, an expert breeder and plant geneticist trained at Cornell University. She is the Senior Plant Breeder for PanAmerican/Kieft Seeds, owned by Ball Horticulture, at their Elburn, Illinois facilities. This plant is maintained as a seed strain, carefully reproduced each year for uniformity and the widest possible color range. It was probably created using several different species of Echinacea, with Echinacea purpurea predominating,
The Cheyenne Spirit Coneflower was greeted with enthusiasm when first released. It won a Gold Medal at the renowned Fleuroselect Trials in 2012 and in 2013 it was a Flower Award winner at the equally-respected All-American Selections. With those kinds of recommendations you can’t go wrong with it in your garden. Get set for a great summer display, but order right away, as these plants are flying off the farm.