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ECHINACEA tennesseensis 'Rocky Top'

Image of Echinacea tennesseensis 'Rocky Top'

Gerald L. Klingaman

Family

Asteraceae

Botanical Name

ECHINACEA tennesseensis 'Rocky Top'

Plant Common Name

Rocky Top Tennessee Coneflower, Tennessee Coneflower

General Description

Bright lavender pink daisies cover this compact Tennessee coneflower in the heat of summer. The vigorous and heavy flowering 'Rocky Top' is tough, beautiful and readily found in the garden trade. The parent species, Echinacea tennesseensis, is only native to the State of Tennessee and is on the United States Federal Endangered Species List. For this reason, it is typically only available at specialty plant nurseries and seed suppliers, though 'Rocky Top' is easily obtained.

This hardy herbaceous perennial is clump-forming and has linear, fuzzy green leaves. In summer it produces lots of bright lavender-pink daisies with dark central cones. The daisies are large and have long, thin, petals that curve upwards. The blooms are followed by brown, conical seedheads.

Tennessee coneflower needs full sun and soil with average fertility, ample drainage and even moisture. Well-established specimens will tolerate periods of drought. It is not as vigorous as other coneflowers and may prove to be short-lived, though 'Rocky Top' more vigorous than average. This is a wonderful wildflower for butterflies and is best enjoyed in sunny flower gardens and naturalistic plantings. Birds relish its seeds in fall and winter.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 9

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    18"-24" / 45.7cm - 61.0cm

  • Width

    12"-15" / 30.5cm - 38.1cm

  • Bloom Time

    Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer

  • Native To

    Southeastern United States

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Drought Tolerant, Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Pink, Lavender, Chocolate

  • Flower Color Modifier

    Bicolor

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Dried Flower / Everlasting, Cutflower, Mixed Border, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds, Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes