Sombrero® Sangrita ConeflowerEchinacea hybrid ‘Balsomanita’ (PP# 30,138)
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Warm colors look so exciting in summer, and oranges just seem to match the warmth of the sun perfectly. That’s why the Sombrero Sangrita Coneflower is going to look so great in your garden. The large blooms hold their petals out flat, and they are a remarkable shade of orange-red that looks just great out in the sun – which it loves. Standing just under 2-feet tall, it is compact, but big enough to make a statement – which it definitely will. You are going to love growing this easy plant, and also love what it does for your garden. Plant it with yellows, blues and other oranges, or group it with other Sombrero shades for an easy but wonderful display. The seed heads are attractive in winter too, and they are loved by seed-eating birds like goldfinches.
Grow the Sombrero Sangrita Coneflower out in full sun, although a little shade is tolerated too. Plant it in any well-drained soil, and water while young. Once established it is drought resistant, tough and vigorous. Deer, pests and diseases hardy ever cause problems, so little attention is needed for a wonderful garden display. Loved by butterflies, pollinators and seed-eating birds. Cut off the flower stems any time between late fall and early spring – that’s all the care it needs. Even the leaves don’t need cutting, because they just rot away over winter.
Coneflowers have come a long way. They are one of our iconic native plants, and have been grown in gardens probably since the first settlers took root. For a long time it was the purple coneflower that was grown, but more recently these plants have seen a lot of development, and right up there with the new and the best is the Sombrero Sangrita Coneflower. This spectacular plant introduces a brand new color – bright orange-red – to the garden palette for summer perennials, but that is only the beginning. Its smaller size means no staking and no tall, gawky plants sticking up – just a wonderful mound of beauty that looks great for week after week after week. It begins to bloom earlier too, so it gives us coneflowers without such a long wait – and that must be good. You will find this plant is perfect for you, no matter what size garden you have, and so easy to grow that you don’t need the proverbial ‘green thumb’ to succeed with it beyond your expectations. It’s hard to imagine summer without coneflowers, and now, throwing its sombrero into the ring, we have this great new color-break to enjoy. Welcome to a great summer in your garden.
The Sombrero Sangrita Coneflower is a reliable perennial plant that returns each spring after spending the winter asleep. It forms a bushy mound of many flowering stems, rising 18 to 24 inches into the air, and standing about 18 inches across. It begins the season as a low clump of leaves on long stems, each leaf being oval, 4 to 5 inches long, dark green and rough with short hairs when you touch it. From this clump, by late spring, a cluster of strong, upright stems grow, with smaller leaves along their lower parts, and branching into many flowers. New flower stems keep being produced over many weeks, which is very different from classic coneflowers, which produce one crop of stems each year and flower in late summer. The profusion of flowers keeps coming and coming, with individual flowers lasting about 3 weeks before the petals brown. Each flower is about 4 inches across, with a prominent central ‘cone’ that is spiny and orange-brown when young, turning black-brown as it matures. This is surrounded by a circle of long, narrow petals of a unique new color – a bright, strong, orange red, turning more reddish as the flower ages. The flowers are very attractive to butterflies, who arrive in droves. Many gardeners leave the plants standing through winter, as the mature cones carry seeds that are a great winter food for seed-eating birds, like goldfinches.
The Sombrero Sangrita Coneflower is fabulous if you have a smaller garden, as its compact size and weeks of blooms give it real value where space is limited. It is just as great, though, in bigger gardens, where it can be planted along a path, in the front area of perennial beds, or filling spaces in the front of shrub beds. It is also great for cottage gardens and semi-wild gardens, and its drought-resistance makes it a good choice for ‘water-wise’ gardens too.
You can grow the Sombrero Sangrita Coneflower all the way from zone 4 into zone 9 – there is almost nowhere in the country you can’t succeed with this great plant.
Full sun is best for the Sombrero Sangrita Coneflower – although it will take a little light shade in the hottest zones without any issues. Plant it in just about any kind of soil, as long as it is well-drained and not frequently wet. It grows in clay soils or rocky sands, and urban areas too. Established plants are very drought-resistant, but for continuous blooming don’t leave it absolutely dry for long – some summer soaks will be appreciated.
Don’t worry about deer, pests or diseases – none of them are an issue with the Sombrero Sangrita Coneflower. The only care needed is to cut it down to an inch or two tall anytime between late fall and early spring. Because it flowers over so many weeks, it helps to remove the earlier flowers to keep more new stems coming – leave the later ones for the birds. A mulch with some garden compost or similar will be a big help, especially if your soil is poor and dry.
Named after the Greek word ekhinos (ἐχῖνος), Coneflowers are called Echinacea by botanists. They are a small group of no more than 10 species, found all across eastern North America. Older garden plants are varieties of the eastern purple coneflower, Echinacea purpurea, but breeders of new varieties have probably used other species as well in their work. Jianping Ren, a graduate of Cornell University, is one of our new generation of professional plant breeders, and she works for PanAmerican Seed, an ornamental plant seed company that is part of the Ball Horticultural Company. Echinacea and Petunia are her main areas for breeding. To create this new series of coneflowers she created many new plants, working at a breeding facility in Elburn, Illinois. In 2013 she found a plant among her seedlings that had an amazing flower-color, and turned out to be simply a great new plant. It was officially named ‘Balsomanita’ and patented in 2019. It has been released as the color Sangrita in Ball’s trademarked line of new, compact coneflowers called Sombrero.
With both ‘new’ and ‘wow’ potential, be the first one to grow the Sombrero Sangrita Coneflower and stun your neighbors, and yourself. So easy, so long-flowering, and so colorful – who would think one plant could make a whole garden party? Order right away, because our stock is limited, and these plants are going faster than a jug of sangria.