Watched goldfinches alight in the ripe seed heads of my coneflowers, Echinacea. Once the birds get a foothold, they perch precariously on the spiky seed heads and feast. This ability to attract birds is reason enough to leave the seed heads on Echinacea, unlike most of my perennials, which are deadhead to encourage more bloom.
The magenta flowers of Echinacea will brighten up a garden. Have you grown Echinacea ‘Rubinstern’, sometimes called Ruby Star’. It possesses a vibrant shade of magenta that flowers dependably and continuously from late summer into early autumn in my garden.
Did you know some coneflowers are fragrant? Try growing the pure white cultivar called ‘Fragrant Angel’. On a sunny day the fragrance is delicious. Also orange-flowered cultivar named ‘Sundown’ or ‘Evan Saul’ are also fragrant.
Coneflowers are not hard to find, and it will certainly please the birds if you leave the seed heads on to ripen. Did you know Yellow Finches are one of the very few birds that feed their young seeds instead of soft-bodied insects? In fact they brood later that other birds, timed for when seeds are plentiful.