“Sunset” Coneflowers

"Sunset" Coneflowers

“Sunset” Coneflowers © 2011 Bo Mackison

A visit to one of my favorite gardens in Madison proved disappointing last night until I rounded the last corner of a small enclosure and found a patch of hybrid coneflowers. (The garden is under going major renovations and the atypical heat we have had has taken a toll on many of the summer gardening projects.)

I am not a fan of most of the purple coneflower hybrids, which are no longer purple, but instead they are white, yellow, orange. I don’t think I mind the change in color as much as the change in the prickly cone head center of the flower. Many of the hybrids have a flowery center and it seems they lack the character of the original prairie flower.

Most of these have not undergone much testing so the hardiness of the flowers is unknown. I thought the “Sunset” coneflower was one of the nicer varieties and still had the typical center. A bumblebee seems to like it fine, too.


Bo Mackison is a photographer and the owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. She is experimenting with a new photo techniques with the huge variety of flowers in bloom as her willing subjects.

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. I really like the color of this hybrid coneflower.

  2. The colors are fiery, like it, and that bug, very well spotted him

  3. Gandalf says:

    I love the color of these cone flowers, very rich. The way the other blossoms are fading in the background but still discernable is quite interesting. Also how did you get that bee to sit still? Nice job, you should do baby photos. 🙂

    • I took about 30 shots of the bee (wasp) flitting from blossom to blossom. I don;t think I’m up for baby photos, Gandalf. Not sure who would be in tears first–the baby or me!

  4. Most exquisitely beautiful light!

  5. Wonderful, warm image.

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