Purple Coneflower

Echinacea purpurea

Asteraceae - Aster Family

The Purple Coneflower is native to North America. This flower grows mostly in the southeast and goes as far north as New York and as far west as Colorado.1 It is a drought tolerant perennial, with purple daisy-like flowers with raised centers and droopy petals.2 It grows 2’-4’tall and on occasions it can even reach 6’ tall. The plant produces its beautiful flowers from July- September.3
This plant thrives in full or partial sun, and moist to mesic conditions. Growth is best in fertile loam, but the soil can contain some gravel or clay. Foliar disease is rarely troublesome. While there is some drought resistance, the entire plant will wilt if the soil becomes too dry, particularly in strong sunlight.
The flower, plant, and root of some types are used in herbal remedies.4 The echinacea extract is used for treating the onset of a sore throat. Also, echinacea is especially beneficial if taken at the first signs of flu and cold symptoms rather than waiting until you are in the "full-bloom" of the flu! This healing herb is a benefit to inflammatory distress.4 The flowers attract various types of butterflies, humming birds, and song birds, but deer tend to avoid them.

References and Useful Websites:
1 Natural Resources Conservation Service - U. S. Department of Agriculture
2 National Gardening Association
3 Wildflower Farm
4 About.com

This page was prepared by Christian Barrientos, BIO 102, Fall 2011

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