I have a deformed Purple Coneflower in my garden, actually I have more than one but not too many. There seem to be two different types of deformity. The first is that they don’t fully bloom but they have lots of potential flowers on them. This picture is one manifestation of what is going on with these strange purple coneflowers. This picture is showing lots of small buds coming out of the main Echinacea flower bud.
Another Deformed Purple Coneflower
Another picture of this strange behavior of a deformed purple coneflower is where the buds grow right out of the main bud without putting out any stems. In some plants these buds are very compact and grow close to the flower’s center. In all of these Echinacea samples the main flower bud never fully blooms. This damage is slightly different from the first picture.
More Unusual Echinacea
Here is a another picture of what is happening where the buds are coming more out of the main flower bud. This is more similar to the first picture above. After doing some research on the internet I found that the damage could be caused by a eriophyid mite or by a viral type disease called Yellow Asters that is spread by a leaf hopper. Both these problems are discussed as possible causes of a deformed purple coneflower. The article says that experts are still sorting this out.
Remove Deformed Plants
One way to deal with this is to remove the plants from your garden. I haven’t done that because I was so bewildered to see these deformities in the garden and they were few and far between. I would just look at them and wonder where in the world did this come from?? Is it some genetic damage from the environment?? Fortunately this isn’t the case and from now on the minute I see this damage I will remove the plant. If anyone has any other feedback I would be happy to hear from you! I have include a picture above of a purple coneflower just so you can compare a normal purple coneflower to a deformed purple coneflower.