- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
There's nothing quite like a cone--no, not an ice cream cone.
A purple coneflower.
The purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea, family Asteraceae), looks like royalty in the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven at the University of California, Davis.
The drought-tolerant plant is a favorite of not only gardeners, but honey bees, bumble bees and sweat bees.
The haven, a half-acre bee friendly garden planted next to the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility on Bee Biology Road, is open (free admission) from dusk to dawn. It's a year-around food source for honey bees, an educational experience for visitors, and a research garden.
Most folks who visit the garden vow "I'm going to plant those purple coneflowers in my garden."
If they do, it will be like royalty. The throne is where the honey bee sits. She's graced with yellow jewelry (pollen). As she moves, she wears a robe--a robe of petals.
There's nothing like a purple coneflower.