Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Tennessee Coneflower
Echinacea tennesseensis 'Rocky Top'

Family: Asteraceae (ass-ter-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Echinacea (ek-in-AY-shee-a) (Info)
Species: tennesseensis (ten-eh-see-EN-sis) (Info)
Cultivar: Rocky Top
Additional cultivar information: (aka Rocky Top Hybrids)

5 vendors have this plant for sale.

11 members have or want this plant for trade.


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)
24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:
Magenta (Pink-Purple)

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
This plant may be considered a protected species; check before digging or gathering seeds
This plant is resistant to deer

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors
From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

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There are a total of 11 photos.
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3 positives
2 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive coriaceous On Sep 13, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

This species is longer lived in the garden than E. purpurea and its hybrids. Long-blooming, and deadheading isn't necessary for extended blooming, though deadheading may help plants look tidier.

This species was thought to be extinct till it was rediscovered in the 1960's in a few glades near Nashville. It is on the Federal Endangered Species List.

"Rocky Top Hybrids" is a seed strain of E. tenneseensis and not a hybrid. It comes true from seed.

Positive lissyrae On Jul 27, 2007, lissyrae from Old Hickory, TN wrote:

The flowers are an unusal and beautiful shade of pink. It doesn't seem to be as drought - tolerant as most Purple Coneflowers. It also seems to be tolerant of a little bit of shade. It's very pretty and a little bit different looking from most pink coneflowers.

Neutral spidra On Apr 8, 2007, spidra from Berkeley, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

It's a little tall and thin for my taste. The landscaper bought this instead of Echinacea purpurea. It did well in the garden, though.

Neutral berrygirl On Mar 21, 2007, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

ECHINACEA tennesseensis ROCKY TOP HYBRIDS Tennessee Coneflower - Med. 24" - Plant 16" apart. z3-9. A native wildflower, very useful and long-blooming in the border. Thin rays of deep pink petals around a center cone are upward facing. Looks stout and substantial in the garden and as a cut flower.

Easy to grow, prolific bloomer. Deadheading will prevent seeding, but birds are crazy about the seeds, and the seedheads are attractive in the winter, especially in the snow. If removing them, leave the foliage at the base of the plant to overwinter.

Positive bigcityal On Dec 6, 2005, bigcityal from Menasha, WI (Zone 5a) wrote:

So far not a prolific bloomer in it's first year. Different shaped flower.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Cordele, Georgia
Rockford, Illinois
South Bend, Indiana
Haydenville, Massachusetts
Dearborn Heights, Michigan
Fombell, Pennsylvania
Knoxville, Tennessee
Maryville, Tennessee
Morrison, Tennessee
Old Hickory, Tennessee
Rockwood, Tennessee
Fort Worth, Texas
Kalama, Washington
Menasha, Wisconsin

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