A two-tiered purple coneflower!
Many years ago, German plantsman Eugen Schleipfer found an Echinacea plant that looked very different than the others. Resulting from years of selection is a reliable seed strain with two-tiered flowers. A set of shorter petals rests on top of the cone while a "skirt" of longer, deep rose-pink petals emerge from the base of the cone.
First year plants sometimes produce single flowers. From the second year forward, a high percentage of two-tiered flowers appear with either a single or double set of petals. Occasionally, older plants produce single flowers.
Similar seed strains such as 'Indiaca' and 'Indianer' exist, but 'Doubledecker' is the one that comes directly from Eugen Schleipfer's work. Get ready to do a double-take on 'Doubledecker'!
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.