Are occasional blooms without petals normal and/or common?

Algonquin, IL(Zone 5a)

Just so you know, this isn't anything that I'm concerned or worried about. It's mostly curiosity on my part since the plant is very healthy. I just don't recall seeing this before, but I may have and just don't remember.

I've had this particular Echinacea for about 4 years. I've forgotten the name (and never wrote it down), though I'll probably come across the tag one-of-these-days. The name has the word "Rose" in it and the blooms are a light Pinkish-Lavender.

I noticed one of these "seedheads" about a week ago and thought it was kind of cool looking. Now it appears there are at least a few more. As I mentioned, the plant is very healthy and full of buds that are starting to open. So far most have petals on them and look perfectly normal.

Do Coneflowers have male and female flowers? Is this common...or a rarity? As you can see, it's quite colorful and kind of attractive on it's own.

Thanks in advance for any and all help!!

Edited to say: Just since posting my question, I've been outside and noticed quite a few more "Petal-less" seedheads. I know I've never seen that before so I'm assuming it's definitely not normal. But, have any of you ever seen this happen before?

Thank goodness the seedheads are intact. I may have less complete blooms, but the Goldfinches that devour the seeds every year won't care!

This message was edited Jul 11, 2013 6:36 PM

Thumbnail by nutsaboutnature Thumbnail by nutsaboutnature
Warners, NY

I have several of these--I think it may be aster yellows. I think one is supposed to destroy plants diseased but I am going to wait--I hope it will not spread and other plants are blooming well.-----------------------------------Weedy

Algonquin, IL(Zone 5a)

Hi weedyseedy,

I've heard of Aster Yellows, but don't really know what it is and the plants do look really healthy. I'll try to find out more and let you know.

Thanks for your input!!

Chattanooga, TN(Zone 7b)

could be eriophyid mites.
you'll need a magnifying glass to ins[ect the flower head.
"Eriophyid mites are about 1/100 inch long. Unless you have a microscope or a powerful hand-lens handy, seeing them is nearly impossible. These mites have sausage-shaped, elongate bodies. Unlike their eight-legged relatives (spiders, scorpions and spidermites), Eriophyid mites have 2 pairs of legs"

Algonquin, IL(Zone 5a)

Thanks for the info and the informative link, GreenThumbsTN!!

My Coneflowers are pretty much done blooming this year, but I always leave the seed heads standing for the Goldfinches who absolutely love the seeds.

I think I'll take a chance and let them grow next year to see if anything changes, but I'll keep your info, just in case. If they start doing the same thing next year, I'll decide whether to remove them or not.

Thanks again! I really appreciate your help!

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

Just popping in here to ask about coneflower problems this season.
There are questions about stunted plants from a few gardeners elsewhere.
I have a second season Harvest Moon that is supposed to be 30 inches high but barely made 12 inches and has failed to develop more than one bloom stem.

I found this article.I was hoping the virus would work its way out but seems it remains in the plant and digging and tossing is the recommended solution. boohoo.

Algonquin, IL(Zone 5a)

Hi ge1836,

Sorry to hear about your Harvest Moon.

I'm still not convinced my Echinacea has Aster Yellows. It looked healthy and normal except for the seedheads with no petals. Most of the blooms looked fine. GreenThumbsTN thought it might be Eriophyid Mites. Even after lots of research, I still don't know what caused it.

I've decided to keep the plant till next year and see what happens. I just haven't decided whether to leave it where it is or to quarantine it away from other plants.

Don't give up hope...yet. One of the members from the Upper Midwest forum, juhur7 has been doing some experimenting on his coneflowers with a combination of Listerine and Amonia (no, that's not a misprint) and he's starting to have some luck with some of his plants.

If you're interested, here are two links: The first one is the post with his "recipe". The second link is for the entire thread so you can read his comments about the treatment. He first mentions it in his post on Sept. 2 at 1:18 pm.

This message was edited Jun 21, 2014 10:04 PM

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