A recently painted single coneflower is the only one I will enjoy this summer. My coneflowers barely survived the onslaught of Japanese beetles that destroyed many of my plants.

Coneflower by Louise Primeau
Purple Coneflower - acrylic on watercolour paper.


Coneflowers or Echinacea are rather hardy plants, but even they cannot withstand the voracious Japanese beetles that invaded my garden this year.

A few amazing facts about coneflowers:

  • One single plant can live up to 40 years!
  • First named “Thirst Plant” by early settlers, the coneflower roots supposedly help alleviate thirst when eaten. Why this is, I don’t know. Apparently, the roots themselves have a salty taste so I would think it would increase thirst!
  • The name echinacea comes from the Greek word for hedgehog “echinos”. The cone shaped centre must have reminded someone long ago of this small creature. Or perhaps the fact that its prickly lower stem repels deer might have had something to do with the name.
  • Coneflowers are loved by pollinators such as butterflies and bees. Their seeds attract birds especially hummingbirds and songbirds.
  • Echinacea has medicinal properties and can be made into herbal tea.

More selected florals on my website.






8 Responses

    • I will have to be more vigilant next year with regards to those darn Japanese beetles. Do you have them in Great Britain? This is something new in this area in the last 7 or so years. They aren’t too fussy either as they like weeds as much as flowers and veggies. The hydrangeas so far have not been affected.

      • They say they havent reached the UK yet, but looking them up I’m sure I’ve seen something similar. We have lilly beetles which wreck my lillies, though it’s the grubs that do the damage.

        • Graham, we have grubs here too. It is a never ending battle.They destroy our lawns so in the spring, after the snow has melted, many of us in the neighbourhood, add topsoil and seed to our front lawns. Some people have given up and have killed the grass and added river rock on the lawn. But that also requires maintenance as the weeds will grow through the rocks. I suppose we can say that we have a reprieve from it all for half the year when our lawns are covered with mounds of snow!

          • Dont get me going on lawns. I have some big ones and drought gets mine. I’ve spent the last two months reseeding and they still look a mess. I’ll be feeding next week, but the climate is only going to get hotter and drier.

            • I guess we should count ourselves lucky that we don’t have to think about our lawn for half the year…on the other hand, snow and salt can damage lawns and perennials. Nope, there is no winning at this game Graham! You will just have to continue to include lush green lawns as you do in your beautiful English landscapes. Cheers.

  • Hi Louise, I just love the colour of this Coneflower, just gorgeous. Another beautiful addition to your collection of flowers… growing nearly as quickly as the flowers in our garden. 

    • Thank you Sally. It is an ongoing effort to loosen up and to learn how to mix my own colours. Quite a lot of fun when things go the way they should, but very frustrating when I don’t like the end result. Cheers!

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