A Gift

A Gift

All that Jazz

I have hundreds of flowers in my gardens and somehow this unique Echinacea, growing in the garden next to my driveway, escaped my notice until last week.  I looked it up on the web and found that it’s called ‘All That Jazz’ Echinacea. (Echinacea purpurea ‘All that Jazz.’ The quilled petals are stunning; in addition it is attractive to bees, as you can see.  The breeder is Kevin Hurd and it was introduced by Walters Gardens, Inc. in 2007.

Where did it come from? How did it get into my garden?  Either someone gave it to me  (which I don’t recall) or a seed was buried within a pot of some other plant.

I looked back through my slides and found another picture of it, taken in 2012.

all that jazz 2

The unusual petals didn’t seem to register with me at that time

When you buy prairie forbs or grasses, there is always the possibility of receiving extra plants from seed buried in the pot.  Over the years I’ve been given Winged Loosestrife, Mountain Mint, Monkey Flower, Indian Tobacco, Cup Plant, Blue Vervain, False Aster, Canada Rye, Western Sunflower, Riddell’s Goldenrod, and Cynthia—it is especially rewarding to be bestowed with a plant that I had not been aware of before.  Few of those plants, however, proved to be long-lasting.  Many of them were wetland plants, which do not thrive in my yard, except, of course, Cup Plant, which thrives only too well.  I still have the Mountain Mint; the Cynthia (Krigia biflora) died out only a few years ago and I just planted another flat of it this spring.

Cynthia 3

Krigia biflora  appeared in my front garden one May, many years ago.  Brilliant yellow-orange, 1”-1 1/2” diameter flower heads bloomed at the top of 8-12” tall stems.  The stem rises from a thick clump of toothed basal leaves, then forks into two (or more) branches, giving it its species name, biflora.   Some were indeed bi-floras, but many were tri-floras or quatro-floras or even quinta-floras.  It blooms from mid-May through late June in prairie or savanna.

Krigia biflora’s common nickname is False Dandelion; but would you buy a plant called False Dandelion?  Cynthia is a much prettier alternate name.  It is also called Two-flowered Cynthia referring to the biflora species name.

That’s one of the joys of a native plant garden.   While I design gardens, plants appear where I did not place them–they know far better than I and do what they want to do.

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