I am a HUGE fan of the Sombrero® series of hybrid coneflowers (Echinacea) and have featured many of them in this blog (my photos). The photo at the top is of Sombrero® Baja Burgundy (‘Balsombabur’) which has an exceptional color! The bed seen directly above (located at The Gardens at Ball, West Chicago, IL) has many Sombrero® selections along the right side of the bed as you view it. Along the lines of continuing to offer color in this blog during our extended and chilly winter (spring is only 16 days away!?), I thought this would be a nice smattering of warmer colors! With all the breeding in coneflowers over the past 20 years, I’ve seen many of the early introductions come and go due to problematic issues like weak/floppy stems, disease issues and perhaps inconsistent flower colors (particularly as they fade on the same plant). This Sombrero® series, while compact, has tough stems and excellent consistency of flower coloration over a long period of time including as the flowers fade! I’ve been impressed with this series and think it has a long future of popularity!
The Sombrero® series of coneflowers includes compact, freely branched, early blooming selections with a range of colors including red, coral, pink, orange, yellow and white. The Sombrero® series has been developed by Jianping Ren of the Ball Horticultural Company (West Chicago, Illinois) who is a prominent plant breeder. I’ve been impressed with the heavy flowering of this series as well as the strong stems and mature height around 20″ or so. I recall when there were only three selections in this series and now there are thirteen! The only ones I haven’t seen or photographed yet include Sombrero® Summer Solstice, Sombrero® Tango Tangerine and Sombrero® Tres Amigos. Feel free to research these more but don’t hesitate to look for them at your local garden centers as they are excellent perennial additions to the garden and represent some of the best breeding to date with these hybrid coneflowers (Echinacea).
Sombrero® Adobe Orange (‘Balsomador’) – above and two below
Sombrero® Baja Burgundy (‘Balsombabur’) – above and five below
Sombrero® Blanco (‘Balsomblanc’) – above and two below
Sombrero® Flamenco Orange (‘Balsomenco’) – above and two below
Sombrero® Hot Coral (‘Balsomcor’) – above and below
Sombrero® Salsa Red (‘Balsomsed’) – above and four below
Sombrero® Sandy Yellow (‘Balsomselo’) – above and three below
Sombrero® Lemon Yellow Improved (‘Balsomemyim’) – above
Sombrero® Sangrita (‘Balsomanita’) – above and below
Sombrero® Granada Gold (‘Balsomold’) – above and two below