Monday, 17 January 2011

Echinacea

My Echinacea plant is growing well.  I have tried to grow these before,  but despite the recommendations on seed packets and plants at the nursery,  they do not like very hot dry weather.  This season, while we haven't had much rain  (even some of that that was predicted) the weather has been relatively mild most of the time.. plenty of days in the 30's, but no extended periods of 40+.   And so my Echinacea plants (two of them) are looking good.
They belong to the same family as daisies, so that the flowers are actually in the middle of the whole "head" which is really a composite flower and the "petals" are really bracts.  These are quite spectacular, growing larger  as the flowerhead ages.
I know that people have used echinacea as an immune system support and as a means of combatting the common cold.  I'm not sure that this is truly supported, but apparently North American Indian people used echinacea as an anti-microbial agent.
The flowers are lovely.  Gertrude is not going to prune these!

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