Forage for Pollinators: Produces Pollen & Nectar in great abundance for and highly favoured by Honeybees, both long and short-tongued Bumblebees and Solitary bees. It is valuable forage for building up winter reserves, and is worked freely for both nectar and pollen for this huge range of bees.
Flowering times: August, September, October.
Growing information: HERBACEOUS PERENNIAL wildflower native to North America but introduced into Europe as far back as 1710. Hardy to minus 30ºC and maturing to 5′ tall. Popular garden flowers due to their resistance to mildew; they need moisture-retentive soil in summer (so a mulch is recommended), and it should be acidic to neutral. The plant is not easy to grow in containers nor ideal as cut flowers due to their flower heads closing up at night. They are drought-tolerant and deer-resistant with rich, purple flowers (varying from purple, violet, and lavender to all shades of pink) with orange-yellow centres and thrives in full sun or light shade in all but the driest soils. When the plant is flowering, the lower leaves can dry up (especially in dry spells); don’t be alarmed, this is just a trait of the species. They add autumn colour to formal borders and are stunning in an informal ‘prairi’e style planting, especially when grown with grasses and other autumn-flowering perennials, such as sunflowers.