FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Echniacea purpurea ‘Powwow Wild Berry’ is a floriferous cultivar that can bloom the first year from seed. Plants are compact and well branched. Summer flowers are intensely colored with magenta rays and a coppery orange 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 Wild Berry’ 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 Wild Berry’ 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 intense rosy overlapping rays. The ray florets arch downward and maintain their rosy demeanor for quite a while without fading. They surround a robust spiny orange cone made of many 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 2-3’ tall with 1-2’ spread.
CULTURAL & MAINTENANCE NEEDS: The ideal site for Echinacea purpurea ‘Powwow Wild Berry’ has full sun and fertile well drained soil. Plants tolerate part sun but may be 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.
Plants will continue to bloom without deadheading but removing spent flowers will extend the season of bloom. If allowed to mature, seed heads provide winter interest and 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 Wild Berry’ 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 Wild Berry’ with Asclepias tuberosa, Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’, Monarda fistulosa, Liatris spicata, Schizachyrium scoparium and Bouteloua curtipendula.
In garden situations, the cultivar ‘Ruby Star’ could be substituted.
TRIVIA: This cultivar and its sister ‘Powwow White’ were chosen in 2010 as All American Selections.
'PowWow Wild Berry' produces flowers the first year about 20 weeks after sowing. In colder climates, seed should be sown 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.