My Cone Flower Forest

Eight years ago, when a wind storm took out many trees in our yard, causing it go from shade to sunlight, we not only could now grow grass instead of moss, but also have a veggie garden and flowers. One of the first plants I bought for our sunlit yard was a small pot of wilted purple cone flowers (Echinacea purpurea).

They bloom in July and are fairly long-lasting as far as flowers go, into mid-August, when the petals begin to die back. This summer, because of knee injury, I’ve done a lot of front yard sitting and watching the flowers’ growth with the procession of fauna visitors.

First came the beauty of the flower, looking like a crown.

Then came the butterflies, sipping up the nectar.

After about two weeks of flittering butterflies, other insects arrived. Whereas the butterflies fluttered gently from one flower to another, insects are apparently more territorial when it comes to my human presence. In fact, they consistently chased me away – variety of bees, flies, and wasps. I respect their choice of “no photos, please”.

Humans also benefit from tea made from these plants. You can pick bloom, leaves, and root; steep them in boiling, slightly cooled water; strained; and enjoy.

Or simply buy a box at the store.

And lastly in the life of the multipurposed coneflower, as early fall changes the plant to dry, prickery cones on brown stalks, and I contemplate cutting them down, in flock golden finches to collect the seeds. (Seven finches in the photo below from two years ago.)

No photo description available.

God is so good to have created such a versatile flora which so many of his creations can enjoy.

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