Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Echinacea purpurea


Eastern purple coneflower, Purple coneflower


Asteraceae (Aster Family)



Echinacea purpurea (Eastern purple coneflower)
Marcus, Joseph A.
A popular perennial with smooth, 2-5 ft. stems and long-lasting, lavender flowers. Rough, scattered leaves that become small toward the top of the stem. Flowers occur singly atop the stems and have domed, purplish-brown, spiny centers and drooping, lavender rays. An attractive perennial with purple (rarely white), drooping rays surrounding a spiny, brownish central disk.

The genus name is from the Greek echino, meaning hedgehog, an allusion to the spiny, brownish central disk. The flowers of Echinacea species are used to make an extremely popular herbal tea, purported to help strengthen the immune system; an extract is also available in tablet or liquid form in pharmacies and health food stores. Often cultivated, Purple Coneflower is a showy, easily grown garden plant.

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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Root Type: Fibrous
Leaf Shape: Lanceolate , Ovate
Leaf Margin: Serrate , Dentate
Leaf Base: Cordate , Rounded
Size Notes: 2-5 feet
Leaf: Green
Flower:
Fruit:
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep

Distribution

USA: AL , AR , CT , FL , GA , IL , IN , IA , KS , KY , LA , MD , MI , MS , MO , NJ , NY , NC , OH , OK , PA , SC , TN , TX , VA , WV , WI
Canada: ON , QC
Native Distribution: FL to extreme n.e. TX, n. to VA, OH, IL & IA
Native Habitat: Extreme northeast Texas. Well-drained limestone, sand, clay, loam. Rocky, open woods; thickets; prairies

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Well-drained, sandy or richer soils.
Conditions Comments: Echinacea is a suitable addition to a prairie garden and attractive in flower arrangements. It is a popular perennial with smooth stems and long-lasting, lavender flowers. Rough, scattered leaves that become small toward the top of the stem. Flowers occur singly atop the stems and have domed, purplish-brown, spiny centers and drooping, lavender rays. Purple coneflower can become very aggressive.

Benefit

Use Wildlife: Echinacea spp. attract butterflies and hummingbirds.
Use Medicinal: Extracts thought to improve white blood count. Echinacin stops bacteria from forming the hyaluronidase enzyme, which helps make cells more susceptible to infection. Itís a mild natural antibiotic. Small amounts taken a few times daily are better than large dose
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Nectar Source: yes
Deer Resistant: No

Last Update: 2013-09-09