“White Swan” coneflower is a bold, sturdy perennial that stands out in the late summer garden. (Richie Steffen)

“White Swan” coneflower is a bold, sturdy perennial that stands out in the late summer garden. (Richie Steffen)

Great Plant Pick: Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan,’ coneflower

This flower is a bold, sturdy perennial that stands out in the late summer garden.

What: Unusual white flowers top this choice coneflower selection. Profuse blooms cover Echinacea purpurea “White Swan” from mid-summer to early fall. White Swan coneflower is a bold, sturdy perennial that stands out in the late summer garden with dramatic daisy-like flowers with a large orange cone-shaped center contrasting against its pure white petals. A long flowering perennial, use it in combination with other late season delights. Its pale colors play well off other paler hues, like the fine white streaked foliage of Miscanthus sinensis “Morning Light.” Add it to the riot of colors in the herbaceous border to help cool hotter tones. It is an excellent combination plant with hardy geraniums, tall campanulas and asters.

Where: White coneflower requires a location in full sun and rich sandy to well-drained soil. Although it can tolerate clay, very wet winters can rot out the crown and severely damage or kill the plant.

Size: This deciduous perennial grows to be 2 feet tall and 11⁄2 feet wide when mature.

Care: Once established it will only need occasional watering during dry weather. Remove spent blooms to encourage flowering through early fall.

— Richie Steffen, Great Plant Picks

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