A breakthrough in Echinacea breeding! This sizzling new variety was developed by master hybridizer Arie Blom of AB Cultivars of The Netherlands who also brought us popular hybrids like ‘Pink Double Delight’ and ‘Meringue’. From mid through late summer, highly fragrant, 3 inch, spicy red-orange flowers bloom with a papaya orange halo in the pom-pom center. The glowing orange flowers have terrific visual impact from quite a distance, especially when planted in groups. Be sure to cut a few for a fresh bouquet that will last nearly two weeks. Though it is a hybrid of two species, ‘Hot Papaya’ strongly exhibits the traits of E. purpurea in foliage and habit. The plant forms a strong, sturdy clump with robust, deep green foliage and thick stems with maroon markings. It grows about three feet tall in the landscape, making it a good choice for the middle of the flower border. Praised for their cheerful brightly colored flowers, coneflowers are a mainstay in today's garden. Be sure to leave some spent blooms on the plants in the fall because their seeds provide winter food for finches and other birds. The dried seed heads also provide architectural interest in the winter.
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