I found a recent trial of Echinacea – Purple Coneflower – that you might enjoy. Echinacea is a prolific bloomer in my gardens, but doesn’t always come back especially when attacked by my root loving voles.
I keep seed from plants that do well and either plant them in the fall or sometime in March. I usually don’t get blooms the first year, but they do well the 2nd year. I also like that they do well in the shade which a lot of people have.
The problem I have had with cultivars is that #1 – they are expensive and #2 – they don’t live as long as the natives. The report tests the plants over three years and which ones did the best. Enjoy!
One quote from the study shows the preference of the native Echinacea purpurea.
“Purple coneflower was the preferred species of pollinators in our trial, ranking second overall for its ability to attract bees, wasps, and butterflies.”
Here’s the link. Note – download the pdf – it’s easier to read.