FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Echniacea purpurea ‘Powwow White’ is a floriferous cultivar that can bloom the first year from seed. Plants are compact and well branched. Summer flowers have unusual white rays and a golden cone. Like the parent species, this plant is low maintenance – thriving in most sunny sites.
HABITAT & HARDINESS: Echinacea purpurea occurs in the eastern United States from New York and Pennsylvania west to Wisconsin and Iowa. The range extends south to the Florida panhandle, Louisiana and Oklahoma.
The parent species is indigenous to open woodland edges and clearings, savannas, moist to mesic blackland prairies, meadows, limestone glades and roadsides.
The ‘Powwow White’ cultivar is a PanAm Seed selection that is reported to be faster to flower, shorter in height and more floriferous than other seed grown varieties.
Plants are hardy from USDA Zones 4-9.
PLANT DESCRIPTION: Echinacea purpurea ‘Powwow White’ is an upright branching perennial.
Stems are sturdy and pubescent with leathery oval or lance shaped leaves. The blades are deep green with scattered teeth and a short winged petiole.
Flower heads are 3-4” across and are held above the foliage. Each daisy-like head has white overlapping rays. The ray florets arch downward and surround a robust spiny golden cone loaded with disc florets.
Flowering begins in late spring and continues for about a month. Plants occasionally rebloom in autumn. Prickly clusters of dark achenes form from the disc florets and remain into early winter.
This compact plant grows 16-20” tall with 12-16” spread.
CULTURAL & MAINTENANCE NEEDS: The ideal site for Echinacea purpurea ‘Powwow White’ has full sun and fertile well drained soil. Plants tolerate part sun but are less floriferous.
Established plants endure heat and some drought. Plants are pest resistant and unpalatable to deer and other herbivores.
This is a sturdy cultivar with strong stems that do not need staking.
Deadheading will extend the season of bloom. However, seed heads provide winter interest and desirable seed that are savored by goldfinches.
LANDSCAPE USES: This is a good choice for as an Accent for a Wildlife Garden or Cut Flower Garden. Due to the compact growth this cultivar is a useful container plant. Plants are also used as Butterfly Nectar Plants or as part of a Grouping or Mass Planting. Echinacea purpurea ‘Powwow White’ has Showy Blooms and is appropriate for Cottage Gardens, Deer Resistant Plantings, Water-wise Landscapes, Low Maintenance Plantings and Perennial Borders.
COMPANION & UNDERSTUDY PLANTS: Try pairing Echinacea purpurea ‘Powwow White’ with Asclepias tuberosa, Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’, Monarda fistulosa, Liatris spicata, Schizachyrium scoparium and Bouteloua curtipendula.
In garden situations, the cultivar ‘White Swan’ could be substituted.
TRIVIA: This cultivar and its sister ‘Powwow Wild Berry’ were chosen in 2010 as All American Selections.
'PowWow White' produces flowers the first year about 20 weeks after sowing. In colder climates, seed should be started indoors in late January.
Native bees, butterflies and skippers seek the nectar. Caterpillars of the Silvery Checkerspot Butterfly and several moths feed on the foliage and flowers. The Eastern Goldfinch relishes the nutlike seed.