Echinacea Green Envy
Echinacea Green Envy - A New Kid On The Block
Even people who may not care for green flowers will fall in love with Echinacea Green Envy, a cornflower having a very distinctive and attractive combination of colors. Looking at the advertisements and descriptions by the various nurseries and seed companies, the color combinations described may leave one a bit bewildered. One thing for certain though, the petals are green.
A Rainbow Of Mostly Green - The petals of the Echinacea Green Envy are variously described as lime green, light green, pink with green tips and green with magenta veins. For the most part though, and from the images provided, the petals appear to be mostly a solid light green color. The center, or cone, is green when the flower first opens, then turns to a purple or magenta color, very attractive in combination with the green petals. The petals are usually somewhat pointed when the plants are young, becoming more rounded as the plant matures. Except for the pronounced cone, the mature flowers could be taken for zinnias.
About The Plant - Echinacea Green Envy, or the Green envy cornflower if you wish, is quite new on the scene and consequently can still be difficult to find locally, and is still also a bit on the expensive side. Gardeners who have purchased one or more of the plants seem to be in unison in declaring it money well spent. The flowers are fragrant, and are excellent as cut flowers, lasting on an average of 2 weeks. The cornflower has always been a popular perennial with gardeners, and this cultivar will likely be no different. Cornflowers as a group are native to North America, and have always been noted for their prolific blooming characteristic, the length of the blooming period, drought tolerance, and ease of maintenance.
The Echinacea Green Envy is the first green flowered cultivar of the cornflower species. The blossoms are fairly large, typically 4" to 5" across, and appear from mid-summer into mid to late fall. The plant is a hardy perennial, growing in USDA Zones 2 through 9, so as it becomes more available is should soon be found in gardens in most of the United States and Canada. The stems are normally 2' to 3’ tall and very sturdy. Some owners have reported their plants attaining a height of up to 4', and one owner claims flowers at the end of 5' stems. A single plant may have more than 12 flowers at a time during its first year.
Little Water, No Deer - One can have cornflower plants almost any place in the garden, but because of their height they are often best as either background plants or stand-alone specimen plants. Green Envy is especially attractive when used as a companion plant to several of the ornamental grasses, and also goes well with drought-tolerant serums. While Green Envy should be given the same amount of water as other flowers in the garden during its first year, it can be planted in a drier part of the garden or yard, and once established, is very deep rooted and does not require frequent watering. An added feature of Green Envy, shared with most cornflowers is it is said to be deer resistant, though it should be noted that sometimes deer haven't read the claims. It's safe to say though Echinacea Green Envy very definitely attracts butterflies, hence is a great addition to a butterfly garden, and it is not known for attracting deer. Whether you have deer problems or not, really doesn't matter of course. In planning next year's garden, give some thought to including some cornflowers in with the other perennials, and perhaps a Green Envy or two in with the cornflowers. You probably will not be sorry.