Friday, February 26, 2010

Echinacea "Art's Pride" (Orange Meadowbrite) and Mango Meadowbrite

I purchased Art's Pride about six years ago as a new introduction by the Chicago Botanic Garden.  They were named after Art Nolan who was the director of a large foundation which contributed funds to Dr. Jim Ault who bred Art's Pride.

I ordered them online because they were not readily available in the garden centers.  I ordered  three bareroot plants and put them by the side of my cedar shed the, site of my mini cottage garden, which borders my raised bed vegetable garden.

I was very disappointed when they bloomed and I saw two Art's Pride next to each other and then this yellow speciman which looked just like the orange flowers but yellow!. 

I guess I could have complained to the online nursery, but I decided to investigate what this plant might be.  As I read about Art's Pride I found out that sometimes this Echinacea produces a sport, and guess what, this sport is Mango Meadowbrite.  I kept all three, one Art's Pride succumed after a couple of years, so I am left with one Art's Pride and one Mango.  They are not as sturdy or as upright as other Echinaceas but I have come to love them for their whispy nature.  They are perfect in this casual farm-like area.

Subsequent to the development of these two unusually colored Echinaceas there have been many more orange and yellow varieties, i.e., Sunset, Sundown, Sunrise, Harvest Moon, etc.

Even after all of these years the Meadowbrites are difficult to find.  I have never seen them at Home Depot.  However, they are still available online.