The following picture is of coneflower ‘Green Envy’. It comes from Nancy’s collection and I acquired it last year at the impromptu plant swap after the
viewing of the hydroponics at the Paint and Play headquarters on Scribner Avenue. It was somewhat dehydrated but I planted it and it not only survived the miserable winter we had last year but it is currently blooming.
‘Green Envy’ is a hybrid that doesn’t come true from seed. Gardeners who grow the plant must scrupulously remove any seedlings. One of the complaints about the plant is that it reverts to the common form. The plant does not change color or revert but the more robust pink seedlings will soon crowd it out. Many hybrids also have a shorter life span than their non-hybrid cousins. When they have reached the end of their life expectancy they are gone because they cannot produce seedlings that are true to form. The wise gardener will divide hybrid plants frequently. (And share with his friends!) This can prolong the life of a favorite plant indefinitely and there is always a back-up should the original plant expire.
To maintain its color ‘Green Envy’ should be planted in semi-shade or morning sun. Reports suggest that the green color bleaches in full sun. The resulting flower is a grayish pink color. This bleaching can occur before the flower fully opens so the bi-coloration is never visible hence the source of some of the color complaints.
Growers seem to have mixed results with this plant. Reports range from “it grew over 4 feet tall” to “it never got over a foot tall and refuses to bloom”. Whether this is the result of different hybridizers or the fact that it is one of those plants that grow where they choose to grow and nowhere else is the unanswered question. I’m hoping it grows well in my yard as the color is reminiscent of a flower straight from the land of the fairies.