Everything’s coming up Purple Coneflowers

All signs point to the Purple Coneflower being named Lexington’s official flower, Mayor Linda Gorton announced today.

In on-line voting this summer sponsored by America in Bloom Lexington, the Purple Coneflower thrashed the competition, Catmint and Blue Salvias, Gorton said. “Fifty percent of the 1,150 citizens who voted chose Purple Coneflower. It was a landslide.”

The three candidate plants were identified by America in Bloom Lexington, which first sought the advice of master gardeners, garden club members, home gardeners, garden center owners and professional horticulturalists. “We asked them to identify plants that are sun and drought tolerant; bloom for a relatively long period; and are suitable for commercial and home use,” said Ann Garrity, President of America in Bloom, Lexington. 

The public voted on line between June 19 and July 19. In addition, there was voting at two environmental events.

The Urban County Council is expected to make the choice official in the next few weeks by supporting a resolution filed today by Councilmember Susan Lamb. “Our beautiful city deserves its own flower,” Lamb said. “Thanks to America in Bloom for helping us identify the Purple Coneflower.”

America in Bloom, the City’s Department of Environmental Services and the Division of Parks and Recreation are planning an education and demonstration campaign to encourage homeowners, businesses and schools to include Purple Coneflowers in pots and beds in 2020. More information on how to include them in your yard can be found here: www.LexingtonKY.gov/PlantByNumbers

Garrity said, “Many cities and towns involved in America in Bloom have adopted a city flower and found it to be a popular move among citizens. Now Lexington will have its city flower, Echinacea purpura, or Purple Coneflower, plus a city tree, the Bur Oak.”

Mayor Gorton made the announcement today at the Central Library Gallery, where the “Paint by Nature: Streetside” exhibit features paintings of native plants, including Purple Coneflowers, that are used in city medians, easements and mailbox strips. The exhibit continues until Nov. 10.

America in Bloom Lexington is part of an international organization focused on improving communities through beautification. Lexington has won several America in Bloom awards since it joined the organization in 2013.