Petal-less Echinacea

drivebytrucker(Zone 4 - WI)July 2, 2009

I bought an Echinacea from wal-mart last year, because I noticed it had no petals on its current bloom at the time. I thought "how odd" and being the eccentric I am, I bought it, and observed it to not have any petals on any flowers the rest of the year. It's close to blooming now and am anxious to see if it'll be petal-less again. I was wondering if anyone has ever seen anything like this before. I'll take some pictures once the blooms are fully open (if you can call it open). One thing I did notice, is that it seemed the cone was slightly larger than my other Echinaceas (it is an Echinacea, trust me). I can't remember the label from when I bought it, but it was one of the more common cultivars, like Magnus or Bravado.

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coolplantsguy(z6 Ontario)

It reminds me of Rudbeckia occidentalis.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rudbeckia occidentalis at Dave's Garden.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 2:04PM
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drivebytrucker(Zone 4 - WI)

no, it's definitely Echinacea. maybe i'll try getting a current pic, even though the blooms have yet to open.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 2:41PM
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Nevermore44 - 6a

Did it get any witches broom on the cone? or any distortion in the cone?

Could be diseased or have mites.

Be careful

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 5:16PM
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drivebytrucker(Zone 4 - WI)

no, nothing out of the ordinary. to be honest, it looks completely healthy, and is around several other varieties of echinacea, which all look great. i'll get a pic probably on Fri., I'm stuck working late tonight.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 5:29PM
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Nevermore44 - 6a

Also.. make sure the petals aren't actually green and really small.. hugging the green sepals...

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 5:38PM
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Nancy zone 6

green Wizard Coneflower? I had it a few years ago, but it was short lived. I like color so didn't replace it although i had saved seeds.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 10:05PM
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coolplantsguy(z6 Ontario)

I'm fairly certain 'Green Wizard' is a variety of Rudbeckia occidentalis.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2009 at 8:02AM
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drivebytrucker(Zone 4 - WI)

Here's a pic I snapped this morning, still got another week or two before the first flower develops fully.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2009 at 11:08AM
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echinaceamaniac(7)

That looks like a normal Echinacea to me. The blooms just haven't opened yet. I bet it's going to have petals.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2009 at 7:33PM
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drivebytrucker(Zone 4 - WI)

well, it didn't last year. I was just wondering if anyone had seen that before. I'm waiting to see if it happens again this year.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2009 at 10:17PM
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drivebytrucker(Zone 4 - WI)

the oldest flower bud still isn't fully developed yet. No petals are protruding from the head, however, I do notice tiny petals (approx. 3mm) around the edge of the diskhead. Time will tell if these actually grow. The flower appears at the same stage of development as nearby Echinaceas, all which have petals extending way beyond the sepals. Also, the diskhead is starting to turn a dark color, from the green it's been since the sepals parted. I think by next weekend I should know whether the flower has normal petals, or if they're kind of aborted, or diminuitive.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2009 at 7:41PM
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drivebytrucker(Zone 4 - WI)

Forgot to add the darn pics I took.
The first shows the flower in question. The second pic shows it, with a white Echinacea next to it that has a flower of similar age with the petals already extended out (I scribbled a white arrow pointing to it, but it doesn't show up that well). The 3rd pic shows a closeup of the flower, you can discern the minute petals along the edge of the disk.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2009 at 8:06PM
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coolplantsguy(z6 Ontario)

Interesting... I wonder if it's Aster Yellows disease?

Or, you might have a new variety on your hands! ;)

    Bookmark   July 12, 2009 at 8:21PM
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prairiegirlz5

It doesn't appear to be aster yellows, which causes distortion and/or aborted buds; these appear to be fully developed. Very Kewl drivebytrucker. Please keep us posted on further developments.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2009 at 12:08AM
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newbie_in_nj(6b E/Central NJ)

I have "first year blooming" Baby White Swan and Prairie Splendor new this year.

The first blooms on a couple Baby White Swan, spindly things that they are first year, were only large cones as shown in drivebytrucker's photo.

I attributed it to fact they're in their first year and have been "engineered" to bloom first year to satisfy impatient people like me.

I'd venture a guess that your blooms open normally with petals this year, drivebytrucker.

There isn't a "first year blooming" perennial that's been a real bloomer for me but I'm impatient to fill space with blooms.

I looked for 'aster yellows' and pests but didn't identify anything.

The deer didn't daintily eat the petals off as they just bit off entire buds and spit them out because they'd been sprayed with repellant.

It happened with Baby White Swan in two different garden beds. Rest of buds are opening with petals although most are more sparse than photos I saw before I got them.

Don't know how "old" your plants were when you bought them, drivebytrucker, but they may have been young and the old saw "1st year they crawl, etc." may have been at work no matter what hybridizers try to do to get first year bloom out of a perennial like echinacea.

I noticed that the "bare cones" are larger and more conical than the blooms with petals as shown in your picture of bare cone.

You bought yours in "good faith" while I bought mine out of impatience.

This is your second year so things should get back to Mother Nature's schedule for normal blooming.

That's my uninformed guess...LOL.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2009 at 6:00AM
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thumbtack(7)

I have a few echinacea varieties, Coconut Lime and Green Jewel, that are also petal-less this first year in the ground. I heard some discussion on a local radio garden show describing the same symptoms. The garden expert said his own echinacea plants were suffering from Aster yellows brought on by an insect spreading the disease.

The Wikipedia link also has photos showing thd damage to the coneflowers.

Here is a link that might be useful: Wikipedia - Aster yellows

    Bookmark   August 15, 2009 at 7:11PM
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geoforce(z7a SE PA)

Sometimes the cone has beauty enough that it doesn't really need petals. For a few years I had Gaillardia suavis in my garden which has a petalless ball flower head in a lovely russet brown color. Its strongest point though is reflected in its common name "Perfume Balls" as it has an overwhelming clove odor which can be detected for many yards around it. Certainly would like to get it back in my beds again.

George

    Bookmark   August 15, 2009 at 9:08PM
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kjordan7363_charter_net

my purple ones had petals and great blooms for two years none the next ok again last year and this season no petals. Has to be the soil or something they are not getting? no obvious pests.

K

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 7:19PM
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journey149(9aFL)

i do they reseed?

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 7:04PM
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green_go

I noticed one of my EchinaceaâÂÂs has blooms without petals:

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 10:32PM
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Nevermore44 - 6a

Green go... That would just be heavy mite damage one yours. Signs being the distorted cones. Remove them as you see them (or if the flower is decent enough... Cut it and bring it inside). There are plenty of other mite issues on coneflowers posted here as well.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 11:12PM
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gringo(z8 VA)

My 'Kims Red Knee High' did the exact same thing & it was growing so well, until that happened. No petals & the plant has deteriorated since then.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2014 at 2:41PM
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