Echinacea laevigata (Smooth Purple Coneflower) [15 Seeds]


Germination Information: I recommend these seeds only for gardeners who have experience with seeds that require a chilling period. It’s easiest to surface-sow (do not cover) the seeds in a pot in 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 last time I grew this species from seed (2021), 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 rate 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 (early spring through early summer).

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 starts with basal foliage, then sends up 3- to 4-foot-tall stems topped with large blooms in late spring or early summer to midsummer. The purplish pink petals tend to be slender and drooping but are variable. Native to some of the East Coast states (primarily VA to GA), smooth purple coneflower is federally considered to be an endangered species. Full sun for best flowering. Perennial; Zones 4 to 8.

A bit more detail: Late summer and fall 2021 was my first time harvesting seed from my plants. At the time, I started cleaning the seedheads. Based on my experience with other seeds, I sorted through them carefully and picked out only the plump, firm ones, which ended up being maybe 10% of the total. It was a very time-consuming process, so I eventually set the rest of the seedheads aside for storage. In early January, I winter-sowed some of the “good” seeds and some of what I had set aside to discard, and surprisingly, both groups germinated well starting in early April. I also tried starting some in warm conditions, with no chilling period, and got ok results: the first sprout appeared in about a week, with others appearing over the following two months, at intervals of several days to a week or so. With all this in mind, I decided to clean more of the seeds and make them available. What you’ll get is unsorted seed that has been stored cool and dry.

Collected starting in mid-August 2021. At least 15 seeds. One packet per customer.

Please read the germination information as well before ordering.

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