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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8 Responses to A Gift

  1. Patty July 23, 2014 at 4:42 pm #

    Having just planted a Prairie garden of your design, I look forward to seeing what will appear in the future as a “volunteer”. Love the “All That Jazz” Echinacea!

  2. Hi Pat July 23, 2014 at 7:02 pm #

    Love this variety of Echinacea!
    Any idea why we have to flower buds on our Prairie Dock that bloomed last 2-3 years? Plant looks good SK

  3. Hi Pat July 23, 2014 at 7:17 pm #

    Love this variety of Echinacea, my native coneflowers are still my favorite.
    Any idea why we have to flower buds on our Prairie Dock that bloomed last 2-3 years? Plant looks good SK

    • Pat Hill July 24, 2014 at 7:35 am #

      Did it send up flower stalks? We have had a cool summer and things are blooming up to a week or two later than usual. Or has the place in which it is growing become shadier? Or is the area it’s in wet–Prairie Dock doesn’t like wet soils. Is there more competition around it than before? It’s common to see Silphium in the prairie that don’t bloom, but not in the home garden. I don’t have any more theories–can anyone else think of a reason why Sandy’s Prairie Dock isn’t blooming?

  4. Suzanne Massion July 23, 2014 at 8:06 pm #

    Pat you make me want to take closer looks at what might be new out in the prairie and among the oaks. I just spotted some swamp milkweed down near the ephemeral pond. A small bit shows up in different places every year. It’s like finding diamonds.

    • Pat Hill July 24, 2014 at 7:43 am #

      You could be getting new treasures every year, Suzanne–take a walk in your prairie and savanna to see what’s going on. I have made up monthly/weekly master lists charts of every thing that grows in my gardens that I can check off every week whatever is in bloom. Once you make up th charts it’s no problem to check them off every week they are in bloom.

      • Suzanne Massion July 24, 2014 at 8:04 pm #

        Pat, great idea. I log all the birds and unusual wildlife I see from my deck; by day, month, date, year plus feeding habits. Why not do this with the flora? Thanks.

  5. Jason July 28, 2014 at 10:20 pm #

    Very interesting and attractive Echinacea. Though it is a cultivar, I wonder if it’s origin was a naturally occurring variation.

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