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Move over Echinaceas, I've discovered Heleniums

5 years ago
last modified: 5 years ago

I'm exaggerating just a little..... I've been collecting the colorful new Echinaceas for the last three or four seasons and have been really in love with them, one of the main reasons being their beautiful colors, but I also love their unusually long blooming season. In my garden they bloom from early June to early October with a few scattered ones blooming longer. They are definitely keepers. Luckily, I haven't been plagued with losses either.

But I bought a few Heleniums last fall and they have really impressed me and they are still in full bloom since late May in most cases! That was completely unexpected and I like it! Their flowers are smaller and their colors tend to be limited to the autumnal shades, but the mix of colors in each flower forms intricate patterns of color and the colors fade with age, adding even more color to the mix. That's not enough to kick out the Echinaceas, not at all, but I will certainly find a way to include them.

My only prior experience with Heleniums was with Mardi Gras and it blooms only about two months or less for me. It's also taller and I like the shorter, bushier ones I've acquired last fall and this summer. They are Mariachi Salsa, Mariachi Siesta, Mariachi Fuego, Mariachi Bandera and Short 'N Sassy. They aren't putting on a huge show yet because they are still so young, but they are supposed to be very bushy plants and very floriferous so I have high hopes for next year.

Here are some photos

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