© 2024 Michigan State University Board of Trustees
Public Media from Michigan State University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
TECHNOTE: 90.5 FM and AM870 reception

Chicago Unveils Orange Coneflowers

The Chicago Botanic Garden announces the creation of a new coneflower -- in orange, not the usual purple. The flowering plant was derived by breeding different strains of coneflower, yielding a plant that has become wildly popular.

Part of that popularity is due to gardeners' renewed interest in native plants. The coneflower, a type of daisy, has long grown across North America's plains. For years, American Indians used the plant -- species Echinacea -- for its medicinal benefits.

The Chicago plant, called the Orange Meadowbrite, was created by Jim Ault, the garden's director of ornamental plant research. Ault reportedly cross-bred hybrids more than 90 times before arriving at the desired color and shape.

Ault talks with NPR's Michele Norris about the new flower's history and current popularity.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

To help strengthen our local reporting as WKAR's fiscal year ends, we need 75 new or upgraded sustainers by June 30th. Become a new monthly donor or increase your donation to support the trustworthy journalism you'll rely on before Election Day. Donate now.