Echinacea purpurea 'Merlot'
Merlot Coneflower flowers
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Plant Height: 18 inches
Flower Height: 3 feet
Spread: 24 inches
Hardiness Zone: 3
Other Names: Purple Coneflower
Glowing, wine colored stems adorned by giant rose-pink flowers with bright orange center cones; fragrant blooms, great for flower arrangements, attracts pollinators and feeds the birds at winter; use in naturalized areas
Merlot Coneflower has masses of beautiful lightly-scented ruby-red daisy flowers with orange eyes and burgundy stalks at the ends of the stems from mid summer to mid fall, which are most effective when planted in groupings. The flowers are excellent for cutting. Its pointy leaves remain green in color throughout the season.
Merlot Coneflower is an herbaceous perennial with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its medium texture blends into the garden, but can always be balanced by a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition.
This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. It is a good choice for attracting butterflies to your yard, but is not particularly attractive to deer who tend to leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.
Merlot Coneflower is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Mass Planting
- General Garden Use
- Container Planting
Planting & Growing
Merlot Coneflower will grow to be about 18 inches tall at maturity extending to 3 feet tall with the flowers, with a spread of 24 inches. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 10 years. As an herbaceous perennial, this plant will usually die back to the crown each winter, and will regrow from the base each spring. Be careful not to disturb the crown in late winter when it may not be readily seen!
This plant should only be grown in full sunlight. It is very adaptable to both dry and moist locations, and should do just fine under typical garden conditions. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will even thrive in inner city environments. This is a selection of a native North American species. It can be propagated by division; however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.
Merlot Coneflower is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. With its upright habit of growth, it is best suited for use as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.