Yep, the name needs a makeover, but Echibeckia for me is a winner. I love the look and late summer bloom time, and if it survives my zone 6b winter, I want more! I picked up this new cross at Home Depot which surprises me with new cultivars that I can’t resist. There are so many new varieties of perennials that it is hard to keep up with the deluge!
An “echibeckia” is a cross between two compatible genera (genuses) – the coneflower (Echinacea) and the black-eyed susan/gloriosa daisy (Rudbeckia). So think- coneflower/black-eyed susan cross makes a totally new flower. These two varieties are favorites of a lot of gardeners, so you could predict crossing these would produce a winner.
Summerina is the first three-variety series of this new cross, coming in an orange-with-yellow bicolor, a yellow-with-orange bicolor, and burnt orange. So, Echibeckias combine the look and fast growth of black-eyed susans (Rudbeckia) with the hardiness and disease resistance of coneflowers (Echinacea). Combining these two staples of the garden was a slam dunk! Both tough plants on their own, but Pennsylvania is the northern limit for hardiness at -10 degrees being the drop dead winter temperature to survive. I will report back next year on how they do!