There are no purple flowered coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea) in the garden. Or not. Correctly, I’ve not planted any, but there it is, a tall seedling with a large purple bloom (below) standing tall above a compact clump of white flowered coneflowers (‘Powwow White’). Nearby, flowers of a second seedling appear more pink.
It is clear to me that the purple coneflower is a seedling of the white (below), but some explanation is required since it might not be so clear to all how a purple flowered seedling derives from a white flowered parent. My wife insists I planted the purple, refusing to believe my explanation that this is a seedling of a coneflower that does not grow identically to its parent. The native coneflower is purple, and the white is the variation, probably found as a chance seedling.
In recent years I’ve transplanted a number of seedlings of ‘Miyazaki’ toad lily (below), and all appear identical to the parent plant. I had hopes that one early flower this years was significantly larger, in hopes that some remarkable seedling would be discovered, but subsequent blooms have been similar in size.
In the next few weeks I will transplant the purple and pink flowered coneflowers since these could prove to be more vigorous and crowd out the white. ‘Powwow’ has been a excellent grower, now into its second flowering cycle, and no good can come from leaving the parent and seedlings to compete in the same space.