Three of my coneflower plants produced flowers that were quite strange. When I posted about this earlier this year, I was informed in the comments that this was probably due to a viral-like disease called aster yellows. After researching a little bit, I sadly agreed that's what is going on with my plants.
Since I haven't been able to remove them yet -- the only solution to this condition -- I thought I'd post some photos of how they've progressed.
The last time the blooms were just at the "stunted" stage, but now they're all producing the weird secondary blooms characteristic of aster yellows:
It's such a shame that I'll need to remove these plants. If there was no chance of the disease spreading to other plants (via sucking insects like leafhoppers) I'd leave them, but I'm not going to risk it.
|Even with the disease, I still find their early flowers to be quite nice.|
Sometimes the best thing you can do with a sick or struggling plant is get rid of it and replace it with something else. It may be difficult to do, but the garden almost always ends up being better afterward.
Good thing I've still got too many plants on the driveway, and some of them are coneflower seedlings.