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Echinacea purpurea

Phonetic Spelling
ek-in-AY-shee-ah pur-PUR-ee-ah
Description

Purple Coneflower is a herbaceous perennial that may grow 3 to 4 feet high. The leaves are alternate with a smooth margin. Pinkish purple flowers mature in early summer and continue into mid-fall.

 "Echinacea"  is derived from the Greek word echinos which means sea-urchin or hedgehog, referring to the pointy cone found in the center of flowers in this genus.

The Purple coneflower is easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Best in full sun. It is an adaptable plant that is tolerant of drought, heat, humidity and poor soil.

After a big summer display plants flower sporadically until frost; both the pink and white cultivars make good cut flowers.  Divide clumps when they become overcrowded (about every 4 years). White cultivars usually rebloom without deadheading, however, prompt removal of spent flowers improves general appearance. Freely self-seeds if at least some of the seed heads are left in place. 

Fire Risk: This plant has a medium flammability rating. 

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems: Japanese beetle and leaf spot are occasional problems of the Purple Coneflower. It is susceptible to aster yellows disease.

Family name Asteraceae (Compositae)

Quick ID Hints:

  • Erect herb with terminal, brown-domed heads
  • Ray flowers in 1-2 rows, purplish, spreading-drooping
  • Leaves rough to touch

Blooms in summer; light shade enhances color hues in ray flowers; utilized for cut flowers, borders, natural areas, adjacent to softer-textured plants. 

Prefers full sun, well-drained soils; tolerant of drought; subject to leaf spotting and Japanese beetles.

 

Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bees#purple#fragrant#white#butterflies#drought tolerant#perennial#white flowers#purple flowers#pink flowers#red flowers#yellow flowers#native perennial#salt tolerant#orange flowers#apvg#playground#food source#cpp#fire#medium flammability#NC native#summer flowers#children's garden#pollinator plant#native wildflower#fantz#late spring flowers#food source summer#food source fall#NC Native Pollinator Plant#butterfly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bees#purple#fragrant#white#butterflies#drought tolerant#perennial#white flowers#purple flowers#pink flowers#red flowers#yellow flowers#native perennial#salt tolerant#orange flowers#apvg#playground#food source#cpp#fire#medium flammability#NC native#summer flowers#children's garden#pollinator plant#native wildflower#fantz#late spring flowers#food source summer#food source fall#NC Native Pollinator Plant#butterfly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Echinacea
    Species:
    purpurea
    Family:
    Asteraceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Early settlers used the medicinal root for almost any kind of sickness. It became the only native prairie plant commonly used by both doctors and folk practitioners as medicine. People also used echinacea to support cows and horses when they weren't eating well.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Root Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern USA
    Fire Risk Rating:
    medium flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Its flowers are attractive to bees, butterflies and other pollinators. Songbirds, especially American goldfinches, eat the seeds.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Fragrance
    Wildlife Food Source
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    drought tolerant, slightly salt tolerant, slightly deer resistant
    Edibility:
    Medicinal herb
    Dimensions:
    Height: 3 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herb
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Wildflower
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Good Dried
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    The dead flower stems will remain erect well into the winter, and if flower heads are not removed, the blackened cones may be visited by goldfinches or other birds that feed on the seeds. Late summer and fall.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Orange
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Radial
    Flower Petals:
    more than 20 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    3-6 inches
    Flower Description:
    Showy daisy-like purple coneflowers (to 5" diameter) that bloom throughout the summer atop stiff stems. Good fresh cut or dried flower. A terminal head, soliatary on elongate peduncles; receptacle dome-shaped, brown. Ray flowers few, appearing in one to two series, reddish-purple to rose, spreading to drooping, minutely notched apically, 1-3" long; disc flowers orangish, inconspicuous.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Rough
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Cuneate
    Lanceolate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The leaves of the Purple coneflower can be simple or branched, often bristly with a hairy stem. The leaves are roughish above and sharply toothed. The basal leaves are 3-8 in. long, egg-shaped, 5-veined and stalked. The upper leaves are lance-shaped, stalkless, and much smaller. The leaves are dark green. Alternate, simple, dark green, scabrous; lower leaves ovate to broadly lanceolate, narrowly acute, broad cuneate, denticulate to coarsely toothed, petiolate; upper cauline leaves reduced in size, narrower, shirt petiolate to sessile, nearly entire.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    stiff, hairy stems
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Recreational Play Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Children's Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Heat
    Humidity
    Poor Soil
    Salt