Echinacea laevigata (Smooth Purple Coneflower) [15 Seeds]


Germination Information: I recommend these seeds only for gardeners who have experience with seeds that benefit from or require a chilling period. It’s easiest to surface-sow (do not cover) the seeds in a pot in late fall to mid-winter, setting them outdoors in a spot protected from mice so they can get a natural chilling period and then germinate when conditions are right in spring. The “winter sowing” technique works great with this species. The last time I grew this species from seed, I sowed on January 1 using this approach, and seedlings began appearing on April 1.

If you sow after early February, consider giving the seeds an artificial chilling period of about 2 months.

Based on personal experience, I can say that it’s possible for these seeds to germinate without a chilling period. The overall germination percentage may be lower this way, and sprouting may be erratic (happening over a period of weeks to months), but it’s worth considering if you are starting at a non-optimal time (spring or summer).

I do grow Echinacea purpurea here, and though it is separated from my E. laevigata by at least 100 feet and many other plants, there is a possibility that the two species may cross to some extent, as they do in the wild, and the seedlings may show some intermediate traits. If you want to keep your E. laevigata as pure as possible, I recommend discarding any seedlings that do not have distinctly smooth leaves and stems.

Note that this information will not appear on the seed packet you receive.

Please read the description as well before ordering.

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Smooth purple coneflower (Echinacea laevigata) is similar to common purple coneflower (E. purpurea), but its leaves and stems are distinctly smooth to the touch, unlike the rough leaves and stems of the latter. Smooth purple coneflower produces a clump of basal foliage, then sends up 3- to 4-foot-tall stems topped with large blooms mainly in late spring or early summer to midsummer; occasional new flowers may appear later in the growing season. The purplish pink petals tend to be slender and drooping but are variable. The basal foliage may die off in fall or remain green through at least part of the winter. Native to some of the East Coast states (primarily VA to GA), smooth purple coneflower is federally considered to be a threatened (no longer endangered, as of August 5, 2022) species. Full sun for best flowering. Perennial; Zones 4 to 8.

2022-collected seeds are sold out. I hope to collect again in September 2023. At least 15 seeds per packet. These seeds are from cultivated plants (several dozen seed-grown clumps growing in my garden), not wild-collected. Original ecotype unknown. Shipping to US addresses only.

Please read the germination information as well before ordering.

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