Echinacea pallida ‘Hula Dancer’ – PALE PURPLE CONEFLOWER 'HULA DANCER'

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Long-lived perennial with tap root, narrow hairy leaves and slender habitus. ’Hula Dancer’ offers interesting flower of slim pale pink drooping petals and greenish centers.

Heat and humidity tolerant and drought tolerant perennial. Flowers 2 to 4 weeks earlier than purple cone flower (Echinacea purpurea). Black seedheads remain on the plant for very long time and are ornamental too (and feed goldfinch). Good cut flower and for drying, flowers can be slightly fragrant. Probably can still be used as medicinal plant.

Due to it’s natural look, the best is to use it in somewhat natural looking flowers beds, drier prairie plantings or for naturalizing. The best if combined with fine flowering grasses - for example Stipa tenuissima, Sporobolus heterolepis!!!

For other good perennial combinations add native perennials like Artemisia ludoviciana, Agastache (‘Blue Fortune’ , A. nepetoides), Asclepias tuberosa, Baptisia, Callirhoe, Eryngium juccifolium, Penstemon, Pycnanthemum, Liatris, Silphium terenbinthinaceum or bigger grasses like Panicum virgatum. Somehow this Echinacea looks good when combined with plants that remind of “thistle”, like these non-native perennials – any Eryngium (E. planum, E. giganteum,…), Echinops, Knautia macedonica, but also other drought tolerant perennials as Geranium sanquineum, Perovskia or Salvia nemorosa.

Picture copyright : Jelitto

 

Blooming time : main flowering period is June – July, blooming naturally continues till September, but with small amount of flowers. Deadheading extends the season of bloom and amount of flowers, but it will remove the desirable seed. 

Size : usually 2.5’ high x 1-1.5’ wide

USDA zones : 3 to 8

Culture: sun, half sun (adaptable to half shade too, but sunny spot is the best). Average garden soil, drained soil, rocky soil, poor soil, even heavier clayish soil. But always avoid moist and poorly drained soils!

Moisture Needs : dry, medium-dry, medium

Origin: This is seed line perennial, introduced by German seed company Jelitto in 2006. Botanical species of Echinacea pallida is native wildflower to Eastern and central North America. Naturally in dry to mesic black soil prairies, gravel prairies, openings in dry rocky woods, oak savannas, limestone glades, abandoned fields, open areas along railroads.

Deer/rabbit resistant : yes/yes (coarse leaves may still be palatable to cattle)

Attracts Butterflies or Pollinators : several long and short-tongued native bees, incl. bumble bees, honey bees, butterflies, and skippers. The caterpillars of the Silvery Checkerspot butterfly feed on the foliage, caterpillars of the Wavy-Lined Emerald moth and Common Eupithecia moth feed on the flowerheads.

Attracts Hummingbirds : occasionally hummingbird feed on the nectar, goldfinches occasionally eat the seeds

Pot Size : 3.5" perennial pot (1.22 pt/580 ml)