Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Also Also Not a Coneflower

Say hello to Razzmatazz. Not only was the person crunk (that's crazy drunk) when making this lovely fleur de mushroom cloud, but continued to remain inebriated while adding in some meth when naming this poor bastard flower. (Yes, I said it--I have to get on about something in life, and I choose this today. My apologies.)

How long will it be until the entire stem is covered in petals? What about the root ball?


Frances, said...

Hi Benjamin, they are doing some unnatural things to these coneflowers, and I have railed against them also. In fact, several years ago, all of my self sown seedlings of the regular purple coneflower started getting strange petal formations, turning green, (just like one sold now as Green Envy), and having too many petals on top. It turned out to be a virus in the soil, a mature maple tree had died as a result of this virus, the saga of Ferngully told in my blog. All the coneflowers were pulled up and disposed of, not composted. Other coneflower plantings were watched carefully for these mutations and pulled promptly if found. And now, they are marketing these as wonderful? I guess it's the same as the striped tulips that caused the tulip mania in The Netherlands years ago? I do admit to a weakness for the cultivar 'Coconut Lime' however. ;->

Frances at Faire Garden

Anonymous said...

I think I saw something similar to 'Razzmatazz' on a lady's head as she was going into Easter services this past Sunday.

All of the new coneflowers I planted have died, while the wild species seeds around all over my garden and thrives on neglect.

garden girl said...

Last year, my first one working at a nursery, I was surprised to see the number of coneflower failures. It's a mom and pop, and they take great care of their plants. Coneflowers had a surprisingly high mortality rate.

They were all newer cultivars, and by the end of summer the few left standing were all stunted and distorted and obviously had some sort of fungus or other disease. More coneflowers than anything else we sold went to the back of the property to the hospital zone to die last year.

I'm sure Les hit the nail on the head as to why I can't grow coneflowers anymore. They've always grown in the toughest spots for me until I moved to this house.

I've planted at least 9 coneflowers here every year for the past 4 years. Not one has returned yet, and it's not looking too promising so far for the nine I planted last year. They weren't too fancy - Magnus and White Swan. The ones I've had in the past that came back every year and freely self-seeded were the species.

Duh, in the past I've planted them from seed. I figure I've spent over $300 on coneflower plants in the past 4 years, with nothing to show for it.

I think I'll pick up a pkg of species seeds for $3.00. As I recall, they always bloomed the first year from seed, and they came back in the spring. And none of them ever died from mysterious fungal attacks.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

LOL! I enjoyed your tirade. I don't hate this coneflower, but I don't grow it either. I'd like to see a garden of nothing but horticultural freaks & Frankenstein monsters: this plant, the white Marigold, the double-flowered super frilly Daylilies, the foot high Lilies, etc.

Benjamin Vogt said...

Frances--Oh my lord. So, perhaps, these new coneflowers are really cultivated, disease infested things? That puts a new light on it. I wish I knew.
Les--I've had the same experience (not in church, with the new cultivars). I tried sunset or twilight or something, a coppery one and a red one--neither came back the next year. At over $10 a pop that's anoying, esp for a freaking coneflower!
GG--You're doing what I've decided to do, grow the species from seed, or, self sowing. I've a patch of coneflowers and other prairie flowers where I'm encouraging this. For me, the species and white swan are very dependable, but not the others. I bought a magnus, and I'll see how it does. I like how it's suggested you divide the new cultivars in order to spread the wealth, vs. seed, but isn't it a deeply-rooted plant, and doing such would kill it? Like a baptisia?
MMD--Many posts ago it was suggested that someone should have a naughty garden, with only naughtily-named plants in it. So, maybe a frankenstein garden would work too. I love it!

WiseAcre said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks growers are creating less and less viable hybrids. I love the 'old school' varieties because they've proven themselves year after year. I try the new and many are fine. I just tend to remember the failures better.

I'll take 'All that Jazz" over the "Razmatazz" any day. But neither inspire me to rush out and buy one. I like my coneflowers the old fashioned way.

Gail said...


I am a total coneflower species nut, especially, Tennessee Coneflower. They took a perfectly lovely coneflower and fattened it up and call it Rocky Top. That is not a Tennessee coneflower anymore! The species cannot be improved upon.

I am a bit impassioned about this issue! I need to do some deep breathing!


Benjamin Vogt said...

Gail--Me too. I don't know why I focus on this one flower, but it sure does chap my hide. Glad so many agree! I'm gonna go check out this rocky top you speak of.

Anonymous said...

Ben: I love that new word 'Crunk'! That will go with one of my words 'Sweve' which is what one does when they swerve while drunk. This coneflower isn't much of a cone is it and it is not one I will add to my garden. Thanks for that chuckle!

angieclementine said...

I've had unusually good luck with coneflowers, so I'm thinking maybe it's a combo of the soil, sun and the fact that my water is spring water. I do agree though, when you grow them from seed, there's an unusually high mortality rate, and alot of them languish when small - but... if you can get them established they really go. My magnus, whites, sunrise, sunset are just going nuts thriving and I'm about to set out a few newer ones I've grown from seed to test the old waters. Compared to like, a Gallardia, wow, the survival/seed rate on them was almost 100% and they outgrew the coneflowers in a matter of weeks......